World’s 1st combined solar-wind power plant in Ilocos Norte

from Manila Bulletin

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte — With the successful installation and operation of the 4.1-megawatt (MW) solar farm under the wind turbines of the 150-MW wind farm in Burgos town, Ilocos Norte is now the first site of the world’s combined solar and wind farm.

Director Mario Marasigan of the Philippines’ Renewable Energy Management Bureau under the Department of Energy (DOE) disclosed yesterday that around the world, it is only in Burgos that solar panels built under wind turbines to simultaneously generate power can be found.

The construction by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) on the combined solar farm and wind farm in one setting was realized to sustain its year-round generation of power.

The 4.1MW solar farms are expected to augment the power generation by the EDC during the low-wind season from April to September.

During low-wind season, it is expected that the generation of the 150.MW Burgos Wind Farm (BWF) will slow down.

It was reported that the maximum power generation of the wind farms is seen in the high-wind season from October to March.

SOLAR POWER GAINS GROUND

Meanwhile, the development of solar power technology became a relevant point of discussion among renewable energy experts at the four-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation-Expert Group on New Renewable Energy Technology 44th Meeting (APEC-EGNRET44) at the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel in Laoag City.

Energy experts from APEC member-economies said Photovoltaic (PV) solar power technologies in their countries were prevalent in their renewable energy (RE) programs.

The Philippines amended its installation targets of solar energy generation from 50 MW to 500 MW last year after seeing solar power generation as one of the most promising RE sources.

Marasigan said that while they amended its installation targets, the government remains careful so as not to hurt power consumers who don’t get power subsidies from the government.

“For the Philippines, we have implemented the net metering for PV solar installations in academic institutions. This encouraged the academe to build their own RE system such as the solar PV on their rooftops,” he said.

LEARNING FROM KOREA

For his part, Gavin Yu of Korea noted a growing number of new renewable energy manufacturers as the RE sector develops.

He said the number of manufacturers more than doubled from 2007 to 2013, the employment figure more than tripled, while the revenue size increased six-folds.

He noted that Korea has a distinct microgrid system in small island areas instead of independent systems which rely on fuel-fed generators.

The country piloted connection projects that generated energy from wind, PV solar and geothermal integrating with Energy Storage System (ESS) all in Ulleung Island.

With its sound Renewable Portfolio Standard, the rooftop and parking lot of Renault Samsung Motors in Busan was converted into a Solar PV Power Plant, now the largest solar PV plant for the single factory and provides electricity to 7,300 households.

Korea’s PV Rental Program is also promising as it allows household owners to reduce their electricity bill to 80 percent.

“PV rental companies earn rental fee and benefit from the Renewable Energy Point set by the government,” Yu said.

CHINESE SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

For its part, Chinese Taipei said it has devised a solar PV mechanism that has ensured fair participation of applicants and reveal the actual market value and costs of PV installation.

The country also convinced its banking institutions to provide financing support.

At least 26 banks have embraced green financing with the green energy investment fund growing from US$1.6 million in 2011 to $222 million in 2013.

Japan is geared towards installing PV solar and wind power technologies because of its good wind resource.

Takao Ikeda of Japan said the government allocated more than 27 billion yen in 2014 for the research and development of utility scale battery system.

By 2020, it targets to reduce the cost of Lithium batteries, Redox Flow battery, NAS battery and other existing batteries.

The United States, for its part, conducted the 2014 SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Peer Review in support of the ten-year SunShot initiative that started in 2010.

The SunShot initiative targets the production of grid connected PV power at 5 to 6 cents/kWh.

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