November 25, 2014

Pres. Aquino leads the green switch launch of the 1.5 MW solar-powered rooftop

"We are marking a moment in history with the launch of solar rooftop power plant." -  President Benigno S. Aquino III

President Benigno Aquino lll, along with SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy and Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste, switched on the 1.5 MW solar-powered rooftop at the multi-level car park building of SM City North EDSA.on Monday, November 24.  Joining the activation of the solar panels are Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

Philippine retail and property giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. is building the largest commercial solar rooftop in the Philippines as part of its commitment to use clean, renewable and sustainable energy in its operations. 

After switching on the largest solar-powered rooftop in its Quezon City establishment, the mall operator unit of Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc. will embark on putting more solar installations in its other malls in 2015.

Solar Philippines is the company behind the largest commercial rooftop solar power  projects in the country.

"With the launch of the solar power system that will make SM City North EDSA the very first SM mall in the Philippines to become solar-powered," the President said in his inaugural address.

With a generating capacity of 1.5MW, the solar-powered rooftop can supposedly accommodate 5 percent of the mall's average consumption per day—equivalent to about P2 million in savings per month. SM Prime and Solar Philippines installed 5,760 solar panels on the roof deck of car park building of the mall.

Solar Philippines founder and president Leandro Leviste said the investment for the 1.5 MW solar-powered rooftop is approximately P120 million. 

Leviste said the investment cost for MOA's solar panels would be over P200 million and roughly P60 million for SM City Dasmariñas. 

"If MOA is double the size, double the cost. If Dasma is half the size, then half the cost," he noted.

In his speech, the President also bared SM's plans to install solar panels in SM Dasmariñas in Cavite and Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

"Of course, it is my hope that you do not stop there: that, eventually, every building that boasts an SM logo will have the same kinds of solar facilities," Aquino noted. 

“We are hopeful that both the House and the Senate will approve the joint resolution we requested sooner rather than later, in order to give the national government enough time to contract the necessary reserves,” Aquino said in his speech

SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia said the SM Group will be installing 3,243 solar panels in SM City Dasmariñas in Cavite with a capacity of 0.8 MW and 10,534 solar panels in SM Mall of Asia (MOA) with a 2.7-MW capacity.

SM Prime Holdings, the country's largest retail and mall operator, will energize two of its chain of SM malls with solar panels by next year.
"SM City Dasmarinas in Cavite will power 800 kilowatts kW, made up of about 3,243 solar panels, while SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay will power 2.7 megawatts (MWs) with 10,534 solar panels," SM Supermalls President Anna Maria Garcia told reporters Monday.
Garcia said that the solar panels would start operations by May 2015 for the Dasma located mall, while the panels for MOA would be completed before the end of 2015.
SM said the Solar Rooftop project was part of its continuing commitment towards making its operations sustainable and environment friendly, along with its aim to alleviate the Luzon reserve shortage by the summer of 2015.
The panels will be installed by Solar Philippines, which is the same company that supplied the panel installations Monday at SM North Edsa.
Solar Power Philippines is Southeast Asia’s largest developer of rooftop power plants. It also put up solar panels at Binan Mall with 700-kilowatt installed capacity on Sept. 22. 
"SM will continue to partner with Solar Philippines for the next solar installations. The partners are also studying if it will be feasible to have more malls to have the same solar installation," Garcia noted.

"Of course we have to study it, how malls can afford it. It really depends on the study of Solar Philippines for us," she said.

"But we shall continue to seek ways and solutions in climate change adaptation. We shall continue to heed government's call to action," Garcia said.

The SM official shared that the solar-powered rooftop in SM City North EDSA is not the group's first venture in renewable energy (RE).

"This is SM Prime's first in the Philippines. Our giant first step in clean, RE in the country. Last year we energized SM City Xiamen in China with 1.1 MW solar energy utilizing 3,740 panels," Garcia added. 

The 1.5 Mw solar panel bank atop SM Supermall along EDSA North Ave. in Quezon City, during its launching on Monday, November 24. The panels are touted to be able to meet 5% of the mall's power requirements.

“We are hopeful that both the House and the Senate will approve the joint resolution we requested sooner rather than later, in order to give the national government enough time to contract the necessary reserves,” Aquino said.

“Most of you may be aware of current projections: If we do not adjust accordingly, Luzon might experience a shortage of a minimum of around 300 megawatts to a maximum of 1,000 MW next summer. This is not a challenge the national government can overcome alone, which is why we are working with all sectors to address this issue,” Aquino said.

“For example, through the interruptible load program (ILP), the SM Group will deload 57.9 MW during critical times when supply falls short of demand. This might not be enough to address that shortage, but it is indeed a very significant step forward, and will hopefully spur other businesses to follow suit,” he said.

The President said the government is doing everything in its power to overcome this challenge and cited the decision of the House of Representatives’ committees on energy and on ways and means to authorize the national government to contract additional generating capacity to prevent an energy shortage.

He said the government is also looking for ways to lessen the demand for electricity, especially during peak hours.

Other guests are Speaker Sonny Belmonte; Secretary Icot Petilla; Senator Loren Legarda; Mr. Hans Sy; Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson; Mr. Leandro Leviste; Ms. Anna Marie Garcia; Congressman Boy Calalay; Mayor Herbert Bautista; Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte; and Mr. Alfonso Sy.

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