Ilocos Norte

The Bangui Windmills

By on July 6, 2010
Bangui - wooden windmills as souvenir items

I was dumbfounded when I saw the Bangui windmills for at least two good reasons. First, I appreciated the engineering behind each 41-meter blade. I could only imagine the complexity involved and the simulation hours spent in its design: choosing the best lightweight alloy available, studying the wind patterns in the area and then combining every other data in an aerodynamic form that could withstand the test of time.

Second, I was amazed at the thought that this windmill farm is the first of its kind in the Philippines and in South East Asia. While there were rotating brownouts everywhere else in the country during the first of half of this year, I assume that the twenty windmills have steadily supplied enough energy to the whole of Ilocos Norte.

The investment poured by the Northwind Development Corporation in erecting every windmill is huge compared to the cost in carving the cutesy wooden miniatures above. Phase I of the Northwind Bay Project started in 2005 with just 15 windmills. These produced a maximum output of 24.75 MW of clean energy and cost a total of $23M.

Bangui - the first 15 windmills

For Phase II, 5 more Vestas V82 wind turbines were added in August 2008 which brought the total capacity to 33.00 MW. This expansion alone fetched $13M back then. But the project also returned significant savings for the people of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) consumers. This may have also sparked enough interest to consider other local sites as potential windmill farms in the future.

Bangui - expansion of 5 windmills

I could not get a good vertical photo of a single windmill as each is 70 meters high or roughly equivalent of a 23 storey building. You must have a good camera with the appropriate wide angle lens. I settled for semi-artistic attempts such as the one below. You would also notice a rectangular casing opposite the blades. This is called nacelle and it houses the generator, gear box and a yaw mechanism. The latter will turn the blades towards the direction of the wind.

Bangui - the three blades up close

The windmills are also spaced 236 meters from apart from each other. They cover 9 km of a beach strip in Barangay Baruyen in Bangui in Ilocos Norte. No wonder why these graceful giants are visible even from the national highway.

Bangui - the windmills as seen from the national highway

One could also have a good vantage point of all the windmills from the beach resorts in Pagudpud.

Bangui - the windmills as seen from Pagudpud

The windmills in the laidback town of Bangui have indeed put the Philippines in the renewable energy map. It has attracted not only the strong drafts from the South China Sea but also troves of tourists who want to see a majestic wind farm that could only be found in this side of the country.

Continued here.

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18 Comments
  1. Reply

    Lawstude

    July 7, 2010

    great structures aren't they? they never fail to amaze me on both occasions i have been there.

  2. Reply

    worthy thoughts of pandesal

    July 7, 2010

    nice place. picturesque indeed! i want to visit the place too. pila kaha damage ani? 🙂

    you should visit and experience the WATERS of CARAGA also:

    enjoy! B-)

  3. Reply

    baktin

    July 7, 2010

    lawstude, welcome to baktincorporation! I absolutely agree with you on your observation.

  4. Reply

    baktin

    July 7, 2010

    Thank you for sharing the video panyang. I'd probably visit: Tinuy-an Falls, Bucas Grande, Hinatuan 'river', Lake Mainit and the Agusan marsh.

    If the CARAGA tourism board invites bloggers like me to visit these, I certainly wouldn't mind. 🙂

  5. Reply

    peenkfrik

    July 8, 2010

    I thought my nose bled after reading about all the science and engineering behind these windmills. I'm glad the thing about green energy will pretty much stay longer in my mind. 🙂

    Wonderful place and never thought you'd be there before I could. 😀 I'm just green with envy for now.

    Keep travelling and keep amazing us.

  6. Reply

    baktin

    July 8, 2010

    ei Kim, I actually intended to explain how the wind's speed is converted into energy…complete with all the geeky equations. Good thing I decided against it.

    Wait for next P1 promo flights. But I know you are looking at some place fancier. 😉

  7. Reply

    worthy thoughts of pandesal

    July 8, 2010

    they would certainly invite (free fare and board&lodging) eloquent bloggers like you…but with a favorable condition of course:

    promote CARAGA's TOURIST ATTRACTIONS! =)

    how does it sound? hehe…

    Btw, try to explore the MANCAGANGI ISLAND (Bat Island) in TANDAG SURIGAO del SUR, too. This island is just 2 miles east of Tandag. It has enciting white sand beaches with guano-filled caves inhibited by a multitude of bats:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=2044993&id=1189293416

    http://geocities.ws/denrcaraga/TourSDS.html

    http://www.tandag.org/2009/09/happy-387th-town-fiesta-tandag.html

    I am also planning to explore Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte next year, if god permits. It is indeed a paradise!

    KEEP ON TRAVELLING AND EXPLORING MINDANAO's TRAVEL SPOTS with loved ones and friends! B-)

  8. Reply

    baktin

    July 10, 2010

    panyang, gracious invites like that certainly sounds great. I also hope to tag along other blogger-friends if this pushes through. Send me PM when they want to do so.

  9. Reply

    worthy thoughts of pandesal

    July 10, 2010

    That's cool! I will email our Mayor about that later tonight, then will email you his response. May i ask for your email add? mine: stephanniebalani@gmail.com

    btw, our boss asked me to blog about our company (deliopolis.com) and make facebook account. maybe you could help me for its promotion.hehehe 😉 any tips from eloquent bloggers like you would be greatly appreciated. : )

  10. Reply

    Jerick

    July 10, 2010

    ang cute naman nung wooden bangui windmills. i want one of those on my office desk!

  11. Reply

    baktin

    July 10, 2010

    panyang, I'm not really the guy to ask when it comes to HTML, SEO and Flash. I just know how to write.

    My email address is on my FB badge in this page.

  12. Reply

    baktin

    July 10, 2010

    Jerick, the small ones cost Php50 each. I placed my precious souvenir on top of my CPU. for everyone to drool on. Bad news. No one did.

  13. Reply

    Joemill

    July 10, 2010

    Let the wind fly me to Ilocos! Before I go "someplace" I want to visit places up north as far as Batanes.

    Enjoyed your post, very informative. 🙂

  14. Reply

    baktin

    July 11, 2010

    Joe, I am looking at April 2011 for Batanes. You want to join?

  15. Reply

    Joemill

    July 11, 2010

    Who am I to refuse such an invite? Haha. 🙂

  16. Reply

    baktin

    July 12, 2010

    Joe, we'd better start saving now for Project Vacul!

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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