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Plans to provide Batan Towns a 24 hour power supply
Wind Hybrid Power System to be installed
(From Bandillo Batanes Newspaper)

  For the first time, Batan Island will have 24 hours power supply. This was disclosed recently by the First Philippine Energy Corporation (FPEC), a leading provider of renewable energy systems in the Philippines.

According to FPEC, the installation and construction of a remote wind hybrid centralized power system on Mt. Matarem on Batan Island will begin any time during the first semester
Diesel Power Plant in Basco, Batanes. Present source of electricity for the Batan Island  
of 2000. Once it becomes operational, the wind plant project will serve as the main source of energy for Batan Island. The 640-kilowatt plant will operate in conjunction with the existing diesel facilities of the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR).

The project will be implemented in phases. The first phase consists of three 80-kilowatt wind turbine generators, an inverter and a battery bank. FPEC Assistant General Manager Ramon C. Tejero, Jr. said that eight wind turbines will be put up in the whole system, but only three turbines will be installed during the first phase.

The whole system will be designed so that it could be expanded by adding wind turbines capacities as the demand increases," Tejero said. He expects that in five years, Batan's power demand will increase considerably. He said that by then, the other five turbines would have been installed.

Though an automated system, the wind power plant will be activated so that the diesel generators at the NAPOCOR plant can be subsequently shut down. During periods of high power demand, the battery storage and wind turbines will work back-to-back with the diesel generators of NAPOCOR. This combination can be adjusted depending on the available wind power and power demand.

FPEC said it will put special emphasis on the long-term reliability of the power system and sustainability of electric service on Batan Island. "The challenge for us now is to demonstrate the reliability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of alternative sources of energy like solar and wind," Tejero said.

At present, the electric power requirements of Brgy. Chavayan in Sabtang is being provided by a solar power source. A number of households in Sumnanga and Nakanmuan, also in Sabtang, are powered with solar energy systems.

The prospect of putting up alternative power sources in Batanes started way back in 1997 when Batanes Representative Florencio B. Abad proposed to NAPOCOR and the Department of Energy (DOE) the installation of a renewable hybrid system in Batanes.

Abad, who worked on the P67 million funding for the project, noted the significant reduction and eventual elimination of government subsidy for Batanes' energy requirements if the alternative energy source is implemented. At present, government subsidy for electrification amounts to P10.6 million pesos. A study by FPEC revealed that this subsidy will be reduced by as much as 22% if a renewable energy system is made available to the province.

Abad also said that Batanes can become a model of alternative sources of energy for Island electrification- "If we can do it in Batanes, I am sure we can do it anywhere else," he said.

The Congressman added that the adoption of alternative sources of energy like solar and wind power system will lessen the environment hazards of a diesel -powered electric generating system. "This power innovation complements the environment conservation schemes being adopted by Batanes since alternative sources of energy like solar and wind are guaranteed to be more environment and natural resources friendly," he explained. In 1994, Batanes was declared as a protected area site under the National Integrated Protected Area Systems (NIPAS) Act.

With 24-hour power service on mainland Batan, Abad is hoping for the improvement of the overall social and economic conditions in Batanes. He also hopes that business activities will be greatly stimulated and sustained

The first province-wide electrification project was inaugurated in Batanes in 1989. At present, the power supply on the Batan Island works for 16 hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight.

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