Solar-powered buildings to boost Ilocos Norte’s renewable energy bid

Published on: April 24, 2023By Allyssa Charisse Magno

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc met with the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC) Mr. Pedro L. Lite for the presentation of plans and financial study of the Solar Photovoltaic Installation project last April 18, a move to scale up the utilization of “clean” energy in Ilocos Norte.

At least six (6) buildings under the steward of the provincial government are set to be installed with solar panels and battery storage to decrease electricity consumption. These buildings are namely the Provincial Capitol Building, Dap-ayan Commercial Building, Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital; and Bangui, Dingras, and Marcos District Hospitals.

The total cost for this installation project to the six (6) government buildings and hospitals is estimated to reach 45 million pesos, with a capacity of 470 kilowatts at its peak of operation.

Atty. Nikki Pilar, National Electrification Administration Representative to Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative Board and concurrent chief of the provincial government’s Metro Ilocos Norte Council stated that according to the study conducted by PNOC, the installation of solar panels on government buildings will result to a decrease in the electricity charges by up to 8.5 million pesos every year. This will allow the provincial government the opportunity to allocate the excess funds to other vital programs.

Strengthening this initiative of Gov. Marcos Manotoc is House Bill No. 7625 filed by Ilocos Norte 1st district Representative Sandro Marcos, titled, “The Solar Energy in National Government Offices Act."

The measure mandates that solar energy systems be established to initially supply at least ten (10) percent of the electric power requirements of the government agencies in their respective buildings or offices for the first year after the effectivity of the Act.

Ilocos Norte is regarded as the “Renewable Energy Capital of Southeast Asia.” It is home to both the first, and the biggest wind farm in the region, the Bangui Windmills and the Burgos Windfarm, respectively.

The Bangui Windmills has 26 wind turbines, capable of producing electricity up to a maximum total generating capacity of 41 MW. Meanwhile, Burgos Windfarm located within a 600-hectare site, consists of 50 wind turbines with a total capacity of 150 MW. At present, there are a total of 108 wind turbines installed across the province.

Under the leadership of Gov. Marcos Manotoc, Ilocos Norte has been pursuing a more environment friendly administration by strengthening its efforts in increasing investments in renewable energy for a more sustainable province.