Pililla AVPC Corporation (PACO), a subsidiary of Alternergy which was founded by former Energy Secretary Vincent S. Perez, has been awarded with a new renewable energy service contract by the Department of Energy (DOE) for its targeted offshore wind farm installation within Calavite passage in Northern Mindoro.
The company said the wind service contract it cornered spans around 78,000 hectares and it straddles northwest Mindoro and Lubang island.
The sponsor-firm has not provided details on the capacity of the targeted project, as well as the scale of investments to be funneled into the venture.
Perez, who is the chairman of Alternergy, indicated that the awarded offshore wind service contract to his company is sited “within one of the six zones identified by the World Bank with high offshore wind potential.”
He shared the view of many players in the energy sector that “offshore wind will play very crucial role in the Philippines energy supply security in the medium term, and a key priority of the current administration.”
In Alternergy’s assessment, the potential of the Calavite passage on offshore wind power generation will help the country achieve its target on ramping up renewables in the energy mix to 35-percent by year 2030.
The energy transition agenda of the Philippines is anchored on massive-scale installations of green energy capacities in the next two decades – although the emerging renewable energy (RE) technologies still struggle in proving their worth when it comes to ensuring reliable round-the-clock electricity services for the Filipino consumers.
In particular, Alternergy has cited the outcome of a World Bank study that offshore wind prospects in Norther Mindoro could top 5,000 megawatts of capacity – that is, when all targeted projects would turn into commercial fruition.
“The area is one of (the) six zones identified by the World Bank study that are most suited to offshore wind development. It is estimated that the average wind speed in the area is more than 11 meters per second,”Alternergy noted.
Perez acknowledged the findings of the World Bank study though that project-developments on the offshore wind technology sphere are still hobbled with array of challenges – including those on securing project financing, limited supply chain, restrictions on equity ownership especially for foreign investors; relatively higher upfront investment cost as well as transmission concerns on the wheeling of generated capacity.
“At the present, the development of offshore wind projects could be quite challenging. But we are committed to pioneer this technology in the country,” he stressed.
Offshore wind farm ventures typically entail long lead times; and local companies may likewise be confronted with scant financial resources as well as technical know-how limitations; hence, they will be needing reinforcement from foreign partners with deeper pockets and have wider experience on such energy installations.