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PIA Press Release

Ilocos power company switches to new supplier after wind energy cut

by Cristina Arzadon

Laoag City (8 June) -- A snag in the energy sales contract between the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative and wind farm developers have forced the electric company to draw power from another power supplier.

Before the power delivery cut, the Northwind Power Development Corp. has been feeding 40 percent of Inec's energy requirement for the last five years when the wind farm began operating in 2005.

Marlon Valdez, member of the Inec board of directors, said the company has been drawing power from the San Miguel Energy Corporation since Northwind suspended its power delivery.

Valdez said Inec is looking at a long-term contract with SMEC until it could iron out contract details with Northwind.

He said the Northwind pull out made no dent in Inec's energy requirement because no power outages have been noted except standard interruptions due to line maintenance from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

"It is business as usual despite the absence of wind energy because we were able to get the shortfall from SMEC," he said.

A major glitch in the energy contract between Inec and Northwind had to do with power rate adjustments that the latter wants to impose despite being bound by contract provisions.

Renato Balintec, Inec general manager, had previously said that Northwind intended to raise its energy rate to P8.25 per kilowatt-hour which Inec was not inclined to adopt because the new windmill rate would mean almost double the amount of power rates that other generation companies offer.

Nothwind's petition for power rate increase is being heard at the Energy Regulatory Commission. (PIA) [top]

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