Bani taps sun, wind for power

December 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

BANI – This western Pangasinan town is harnessing the power of the wind and the sun for its electrical power need, as a part of the town’s dream to become a Green City by 2020

Mayor Marcelo Navarro said the agricultural town initially wanted windmills for its power needs, but a 6-month test in an area facing the South China Sea proved that the wind velocity was not constant – strong at night but weak at daytime.

“Given this situation, the Japanese company made adjustments in such a way that at night, the windmills will be used, while at daytime, the solar power takes over,” Navarro said.

The local government has proposed 60-hectare area for the project and Mecaro Rio Vista Energy Corporation (MOREnergy) is looking for a ten-hectare area in the site where it would be best to put the solar panels, according to Michiaki Yuda, president of MOREnergy which is providing the technology and development of the project.

The company will start the establishment of the power plant, which costs $10 million, in January next year and will be operational after six months, he said.

Yuda said the initial cost is big but the plant can last up to 25 years. “Besides we really need to seek renewable energy,” he said.

He explained that the company will be using nano technology (defined by Center for Responsible Technology website as engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale), the most modern technology in power generation.

The company will also use Spiral Magnus wind turbine, a system that rotates with cylinders which have spiral-shaped fins coiled around instead of common propeller-type blades.

Yuda said it will be an 80-20 ratio for the sun and wind, with the sun producing 80 percent and the wind producing 20 percent of the power to be generated by the plant.

“We will generate 5 megawatt, initially,” he said.

Navarro said the old windmills like those used in Bangui , Ilocos Norte, were 60 meters high and of heavy materials, but the ones to be put up in Bani are only 12-20 meters high and are made of light materials.

Another plan of this town as its source of green energy is biomass-fueled co-generator plant. Feasibility study has been undertaken on the use of biomass for electrical power plant in the town. It will use rice hull and hay to run the turbines connected to a generator that can produce 15 megawatts of power.

Navarro said data gathered of rice hull and hay in Pangasinan first district showed that these were enough to run the biomass power plant.

“What’s good about biomass co-generator plant is that it won’t produce carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming,” Navarro said.

The project has two other components—palay driers which will use the hot air from the generator and which has a capacity of 500 metric tons a day, and a rice mill which also has a capacity of 500 metric tons daily.

The biomass-fueled co-generator plant project however, is still waiting for investors, he said.

Entry filed under: News.

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