When technology and environment can become an object of desire for travellers. In the province of Ilocos Norte, near Vigan, a UNESCO world heritage city, tourists are flowing along the beaches of Pagudpud near Burgos to admire the strange silhouettes of wind turbines along the beaches.
Dozens of wind turbines stand along the coast and their 75 meter frail silhouette along the shores provide a sense of majesty. Filipinos give the poetic name of ‘Wind Farms” to the Burgos turbines. Stretching over 600 hectares, the $450-million wind farm of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is the largest in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. It is dominated by 50 model V90 wind turbines, supplied by Danish company Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer.
The technology wonder is now turning into a tourism one. Busses come everyday to visit the area and guiding tours are being organised. Guides provide technical information and take tourists to the top of a hill where visitors can embrace the entire shore with its wind giants. From the hill, it is also possible to see the first wind farm from the Philippines, in nearby Bangui. It was commissioned in 2005 and turned instantly into a popular destination.
Among the most visited tourism destinations in Ilocos Norte has the two wind mills areas being named next to the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation of Burgos Paoay Sand Dunes, the Marcos Museum and Paoay Church. In 2013, Ilocos Norte received 743,000 domestic and foreign travellers, up by 186% over 2012.
Wind Farms will further develop in the Philippines as the archipelago has about 10,000 square kilometers of land areas that have wind energy potential, according to experts. Wind turbines can produced energy equivalent to a potential 70-megawatt with limited carbon emissions.Burgos Farm concessionaire EDC indicates that Burgos turbines are estimated to reduce the world’s carbon emissions by 200,000 tons annually.
A large project has already been developed in the Visayas. Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corp. (TAREC) opened in December 2014 a 54-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Guimaras at San Lorenzo. The 27 turbines are now marked as a tourist attraction for the region of Central Philippines.
(Photo: Bangui WInd Farm, Ilocos Norte)