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Offshore wind farms seen to support country’s power needs

ABOITIZ Power Corp. said offshore wind resources will eventually support the country’s power needs as the technology becomes more competitive, its top official said.

“Eventually, as technology becomes more competitive, offshore wind is really going to be a viable option with a higher capacity factor than onshore wind and, of course obviously, than solar,” said Emmanuel V. Rubio, president and chief executive officer of AboitizPower, in a virtual press briefing.

Mr. Rubio said offshore wind is still quite expensive in the Philippines. He added that to date, a lot of questions remain regarding the technology, especially with pricing.

“On offshore, there’s still a lot of questions regarding the LCOEs (levelized cost of energy) and we have yet to see the numbers from DoE (Department of Energy) and the volume that DoE is allocating for offshore wind,” Mr. Rubio said.

He said that as of now, AboitizPower does not have any “material announcement” for future wind projects.

“First of all, we announced our plan, our 90-MW (megawatts) Libmanan wind project in Camarines Sur — that is onshore. This will be the first project of a long-term greenfield wind program that we have in [AboitizPower],” he said.

Last year, Aboitiz Power, through its subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables, Inc., signed a joint venture agreement with Mainstream Renewable Power for the development of the wind project in Camarines Sur.

On Sunday, the Energy department said that the issuance of Executive Order 21 would ramp up offshore wind projects in the country by providing clarity and harmonizing the permitting processes.

The order has directed the department to issue a policy and administrative framework for the optimal development of offshore wind resources. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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