DOST pushes for wind power systems

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 17 Oct) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is pushing for the development of micro-grids using small wind power systems or wind farms to help address the worsening power shortage in Mindanao.

Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, executive director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) of the DOST, said they are presently evaluating several areas in Mindanao and other parts of the country that could host the micro-grids and the operations of small wind farms.

She said they are specifically considering tapping small island localities and coastal areas as potential sites for the project.

“The assessment of the sites is currently ongoing and we’re targeting to roll out this project by 2014 or 2015,” she said in a press conference here.

A power generation reference site described micro-grids as localized grouping of electricity generation, energy storage and loads that normally operates without being connected to a traditional centralized grid.

It said they are meant to generate power locally to reduce dependence on long distance transmission lines and cut transmission losses.

Generation and loads in a micro-grid, which ideally covers an area of around 30 to 50-kilometer radius, are usually interconnected at low voltage. Its generation resources, which may include fuel cells, wind and solar, are usually operated by small power stations with a capacity of 5 to 10 megawatts (MW).

Guevara said they earlier adopted the wind technology for the micro-grid project following a needs assessment conducted by the agency.

Under the project, she said they would establish micro-grids and wind farms, which comprises a group of wind turbines that are used for production of electricity, in small island areas and other suitable localities.

The electricity generated by the micro-grid would directly be utilized to supply the needs of consumers within its area of operations, Guevara said.

“Households and other power users within the area covered by the micro-grid would get their supplies directly from the facility and no longer from the national grid,” Guevara said.

She said the establishment of the micro-grids would ease the power generation shortfall of Mindanao and other areas that are connected to the main power grids.

Guevara said the power rates for consumers connected to micro-grids will also be cheaper since they would no longer be paying for the transmission costs. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)