Wind farm draws tourists and revenues to a small province in Rizal

MANILA — Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the viewing deck of a wind farm in Pililla, Rizal to marvel at and take photos of its 125-meter tall white wind turbines.

The wind farm, which consists of 27 turbines, was opened to the public in June 2016 to raise awareness about cleaner and alternative sources of energy.

It is owned by renewable-energy focused Alternergy Corporation.

The company ventured into the renewable energy business to contribute in the fight against climate change.

“We all know that coal and crude oil is a lot dirtier and in the advent of awareness of climate change, we want to reduce the emission of carbon into the atmosphere and wind power doesn’t produce any carbon emissions. If anything, it produces only clean energy to the country,” said Alternergy chief executive officer, Vince Perez.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said, only one percent of the country’s energy production in 2015, came from wind farms. Renewable energy sources are mainly focused on geothermal and hydro-power plants.

On top of making the environment more sustainable, the facility also provides extra revenue and job opportunities. Through an agreement with DOE, every kilowatt the wind farm contributes to the national grid, the company pays one centavo in royalties to the provincial and municipal government.

Last year, Alternergy gave P1.5 million for producing 150 million kilowatts. The money was later used for social projects.

“This is one way to educate people, for them to see, first, renewable energy, second, what kind the beauty that this place offers, what is in this place. And an infrastructure like this visitor center will be able to give the information to people who travel here,” said tourism officer, Dindo Abueg.

The company has also set up three souvenir-making cooperatives which employs 45 Pililla residents.

“Because of our work, Pililla, Rizal is slowly becoming known because of course for every tourist who buy our souvenirs they see the name Pililla, Rizal. We are proud of it because they are buying our own products,” said souvenir cooperative president, Mianel Abejero.

Alternate plans to double the size of its wind farm and erect new ones in other high-altitude provinces in the island of Luzon soon. Its mission includes building power plants harnessing hydro-power and solar energy. ” — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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