National Grid boosts lines to link Ilocos wind farms

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines has increased the capacity of the San Esteban substation in Ilocos Sur province with the upgrading of a power transformer from 50 megaVolt amperes to 100 MVA.

National Grid said in a statement the expansion boosted the capability and reliability of the power transformer to accommodate the growing generation capacity from wind farms in Ilocos Norte, such as those of  Energy Development Corp. in Burgos, North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. in Pagudpud and North Luzon Wind Power Corp. in Bangui.

EDC is operating the 150-MW Burgos wind project while North Luzon is running the 81-MW Pagudpud wind project. NorthWind Power Development Corp., meanwhile, owns a 52-MW wind project in Ilocos Norte.

The San Esteban substation is a critical link to the grid as it transmits around 280 megawatts.

National Grid is a privately-owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations and related assets.

The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by retail tycoon Henry Sy Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation of Robert Coyiuto Jr. and the State Grid Corp. of China  as technical partner.

“This project also caters to the increasing load demand from connected power customers Abra Electric Cooperative, Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, and Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative,” National Grid.

The upgraded transformer was energized on September 5. The San Esteban Substation now has two 100-MVA power transformers.

NorthWind has urged National Grid to pursue the development of the North Luzon transmission line looping project to accommodate wind projects in other areas in North Luzon.

NorthWind chairman Niels Jacobsen said earlier the North Luzon loop would not only encourage other power projects but also enhance transmission security.

“In all other countries in the world you would always have a loop for security reasons. It would make very much sense to loop it. If they [National Grid] loop it, then we can proceed with the projects,” he said.

NorthWind is developing wind projects in Aparri and Pamplona, Cagayan, which have a potential of up to 80 megawatts of wind energy.

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