Madrid-based Developer Picks the Philippines for its Largest Offshore Wind Project
According to Senator Miguel Zubiri, the Philippines is a mountainous archipelago and the islands have extensive elevation, making it a good location for wind farms.
Wind energy has grown in popularity, given that it is a clean and renewable energy source, plus, it can also generate electricity without causing pollution. In fact, as of May 2023, the Department of Energy (DoE) says that it has issued 65 offshore wind energy service contracts (SCs) in the country.
Given its potential for growth—both from a business perspective and as a long-term source of energy for Filipinos—a new player seeks to set base on Philippine shores: BlueFloat Energy.
A Madrid-based offshore wind developer, Blueleaf Energy is the leading Pan Asian Renewable energy platform that develops, finances, owns, and operates renewables and storage assets. It focuses its efforts on “shaping the global energy transformation by bringing scaled decarbonization solutions to new markets” through bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind project development and executions.
The Biggest Offshore Wind Project in the Philippines
Given the potential for wind energy in the Philippines, BlueFloat Energy shared in a press conference that its planned offshore wind energy capacity in the Philippines is about 7.6 gigawatts (GW). This capacity will then be divided into four sites—Central Luzon, South Luzon, Northern Luzon, and Southern Mindoro—which will have capacities between 1.5 and 3.5 GW.
“We are thrilled to bring BlueFloat Energy’s expertise and experience in offshore wind energy to the Philippines”, says BlueFloat Energy CEO Carlos Martin. “We believe that by tapping into the country’s vast clean energy potential, we can make a significant contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and fostering a sustainable future for generations to come.”
For this project, the company will be working closely with the government—as well as the local communities to ensure that the project complies with environmental regulations.
All in all, BlueFloat has a total of 32.4 GW of floating offshore wind projects, with the biggest one set in the Philippines. Aside from that, it also aims to put up 6.6 GW offshore wind power in Taiwan and Australia, and 1.9 GW in New Zealand.
Why Blueleaf Energy Chose the Philippines
Based on an assessment by the World Bank, the Philippines is considered one of the largest and fastest-growing producers of electricity from wind power in Southeast Asia. In fact, back in 2016, now-senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the country has “some 10,000 square kilometers of land areas with good-to-excellent wind resources.”
Citing the results of the study of the US National Energy Laboratory to further back his statement, Senator Zubiri also shared that the country has several potential wind farms—given that the country is a mountainous archipelago and that its islands have extensive elevation.
On the other hand, BlueFloat Energy’s CEO elaborated on how BlueFloat took the time to check the countries’ wind potentials. He also shared how they picked sites with good wind resources that will make no impact on environmentally-protected areas. They also checked the potential to connect to both existing and pipeline grids.
“In markets like the Philippines, offshore wind can cover new demand. So the growth of the country implies that there is a big growth in the demand for power,” Martin says. “It is never easy [to address grid integration.] First of all, offshore wind is probably easier to integrate. Production is more stable and predictable [and] you can produce more power.”
What This Means for the Philippines
So far, the Board of Investments said that there are already about PHP 390 billion worth of investment pledges from just the first quarter of 2023. In the long run, the project is expected to be completed by the end of the decade, since the projects are not to be developed simultaneously.
To date, the Philippines has a potential capacity of 178 GW from offshore wind resources, according to the Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap. Should this project be a success, this can help the country reach its target of increasing the share of renewables.
More so, the incentives that will come from the government and the number of investors can push other developers to build facilities here. Should that be the case, these additional wind farms will also be helpful in providing electricity to local businesses—given that this new energy source can help lessen electricity costs in the long run.