Windy days in Sagada seen as power source
SAGADA, Mt. Province—This quaint mountain resort town may just become the unlikely powerhouse of the region.
If plans push through, Sagada is set to energize not only its residents but the whole province itself using the wind that constantly rustles the pine forest here.
PhilCarbon, a renewable energy firm, is set to build a $30-million wind facility here, expecting to generate at least 15 megawatts of power, said former Sagada Mayor Thomas Killip.
He said PhilCarbon has validated the Pilao Ridge, on the municipal boundary of Sagada and Besao, as an ideal wind path, and it believes the ridge’s potential as a wind energy source is assured even after monsoon season.
Ideal wind path
“An ideal wind path means a steady source of power,” Killip said.
He said PhilCarbon is set to build at least 25 wind turbines along the Pilao Ridge. Each turbine will be designed to generate more than 600 kilowatts.
In Mt. Province, which consumes only 4 MW of electricity, two targeted sites for wind turbines are the towns of Sagada and Tadian due to their ideal wind paths, Killip said.
This town is unable to secure the funds necessary to build its own wind facility or bring up concrete wind turbines to the mountains on the western side of the province, he said. Each wind turbine towers 70 meters high.
Killip said that selling most of the power, which the Sagada facility would generate in the future, to the Luzon grid would help pay for the wind project.
He said Sagada residents would be more receptive to the wind project because it is non-polluting and environmentally friendly.
PhilCarbon is also looking at carbon trading to help finance the project.
The Kyoto Protocol, the world climate change treaty, provides a mechanism that puts value or credits to carbon dioxide emission which would be displaced by a project like the Sagada wind facility. These credits would be considered currency that may be traded to corporations in developed countries.
“[A Sagada wind project] will definitely be to our advantage,” Killip said.
The wind map created by the Department of Energy indicates that most areas with high wind energy potentials are in northern Luzon. The Bangui wind farm, along the northern end of Ilocos Norte, is generating more than 30 MW of electricity. Frank Cimatu, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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