The picturesque—and very popular—windmills of Bangui, Ilocos Norte still don’t have high-resolution satellite imagery in Google Maps yet (Update, June 2010: they are now visible in Google Maps), but the first wind farm of Southeast Asia, which can be found in the northernmost province of Batanes, does. Like the CEPALCO solar power plant in Cagayan de Oro, which we’ve featured before and is still the largest solar power plant in the developing world, the Philippines should be proud of the Mahatao Wind Farm for undoubtedly making the Philippines a pioneer in renewable energy sources in the region.
The Bangui Wind Farm, which started operating in June 2005, is often touted as the first commercial wind farm in Southeast Asia, but that’s not entirely true. I argue that it’s actually the first pure wind farm in Southeast Asia because the 56-million-peso Mahatao Wind Farm, inaugurated in August 7, 2004, is actually a hybrid wind-diesel farm, making it the earlier wind farm of any type.
The Mahatao Wind Farm consists of three Vergnet turbines and have a combined rated power of 180 kW. The turbines were erected on Mt. Humhao in the town of Mahatao just south of the provincial capital Basco. Owned by the Batanes provincial government, the farm is operated by the National Power Corporation-SPUG and was constructed by First Gen Renewables, Inc.