16 March 2010

SBMA keen on developing wind energy project

In line with efforts of the national government to tap renewable energy sources in the locality, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is now encouraging investors to build wind-turbine facilities in this free port.

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga said representatives of a China-based company met with him last week and expressed interest in a wind farm project here.

The foreign investors were accompanied in Subic by Charles Chen, from the Manila-based PRA Marketing Services Corp., as well as officials of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC).

“I asked them to submit a proposal so we could ascertain whether the Subic Bay Freeport would be a feasible venue for the project,” Salonga said.

“This is a positive development which could only prove to be beneficial to the Subic community ultimately,” he added.

“Hopefully, we could develop Subic’s Redondo Peninsula as a source of alternative and renewable energy that we can even feed to the Luzon energy supply grid,” he said.

Redondo, which is the location of the shipbuilding facility operated by South Korean company Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines, is composed of a chain of mountains that branch off from the backbone of the Zambales mountain ranges.

It faces the South China Sea and, hence, is expected to provide a good wind harvest.

“The wind blows over the peninsula all year round, and because the Subic Freeport has its own power generating system, it will be easy to connect the wind power system to the grid,” Salonga explained.

“Subic is really a good choice for this project,” he added.

Salonga said the Chinese company would have to conduct a one-year detailed study of wind velocity and volume in the area.

“Experts would also have to study the fluctuations, as information like these would be important in determining the size of the blades (for the windmills),” he said.

Salonga, said officials of the SBMA are excited about the potential of a wind farm in Subic because the project could help lower the cost of power in the free port.

“We’ve been a net power consumer for too long,” Salonga said. “So isn’t it nice if we become a power producer for a change?”

Should Subic produce excess energy from wind power, the surplus could also benefit communities near the Subic Freeport, Salonga added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)