..or maybe you did. Anyway, let’s get to that later on. We are still on my North Luzon Loop Series I did back in April for my birthday. I started back in Laguna and made my way north on my motorcycle with the idea to visit (and re-visit) the tourist destinations of Northern Luzon particularly the Ilocos Region.
After two days on the road, I have reached Pagudpud. I didn’t think I’d make it here until Day 3 but thanks to a late afternoon dash I did after Laoag City, I am actually ahead of schedule. How did that night end?
It was already completely dark when I reached Saud Beach. This time though, I was not worried at all. Hundreds of houses there accepts transients and that is not counting the hotels and beach resorts. Most of the homestays I checked out offers only a separate room and you would share the rest of the house with them or other guests. There was one though that offers the whole house! It came cheap too. Only Php 250 per head for a minimum of 2 pax so I paid Php 500.
After a refreshing bath, I set out to look for food… real food! I’ve been only eating chocolate bars for 2 days! I found a food cart who’s almost packing up. After they graciously accepted my order of at least a dozen sticks of this and that, I found out that they are out of rice. So I did what most of you would’ve done too. I robbed them of the remaining rice they have set aside for themselves – all three servings of it! Hahahaha!!
The following morning I woke up very early and headed back to Bangui. It was very dark and there were barely any streetlight turned on. I made my way through Pagudpud proper and into Bangui.
The turbines are visible from the National Highway from KM 540 to KM 550. I stopped at the Bangui Wind Farm view deck again hoping for a better shot of the turbines. My afternoon shots were bad because of the smoke from the residents burning dried leaves. Well, early morning wasn’t very good either because of the fog. Excuses!! :p
There are multiple access roads leading to the windmills. I started on the westernmost end of the 9-kilometer shoreline of Bangui Bay.
The Northwind Bangui Bay Project was conceptualized because of the poor electricity supply to the region. It was June 2008 when the first 15 turbines were completed and 5 more units were added on August 2008.
Each turbine is 70 meters high with 41 meter long blades and capable of producing up to a maximum capacity of 1.65MW, for a total of 33MW.
So these turbines are really huge! The first time you see it, you might get overwhelmed that you might not pay attention to some details. The first time I was here on October 2010, I was so thrilled about these huge blades whizzing above me (noisy video here) that I thought they’re always like that.
The whole upper assembly moves! What a surprise!! Some of you might already know that but I’m sure quite a lot doesn’t. Even Wikipedia, says it faces towards the South China Sea (someone needs to correct that). Really, it shouldn’t be surprising since the wind pattern changes after all. Not only does it change direction because of Amihan or Habagat, but it automatically detects the wind direction and makes the adjustment. Sometimes, you will see a turbine or two facing a different direction compared to the rest like this one.
It’s probably under maintenance. The turbines only need about 3.5 m/s wind speed to operate and a maximum of 20 m/s to automatically shut it off. Anything stronger than that can damage the turbine if the rotors are kept spinning so don’t be disappointed if you happen to visit the wind farm with stationary windmills.
I’ve also heard of another wind farm under construction in Burgos. I hope the project is realized soon including those planned in other regions like Batanes and Mindoro.
As tempting as it may be, I don’t really have enough time to relax in the beach. I loaded my packed luggage to the motorcycle and took off for the rest of Pagudpud.
Thanks to Dino Tiatco, Plant Manager of Northwind Power Development Corporation for answering all my questions about the wind farm. To those interested, I stayed at Cathy’s Homestay in Saud Beach, contact her at (0908) 314-6282.