The world’s largest solar powered mall inaugurated in Philippines



President Aquino praised SM Supermalls yesterday for having its North EDSA mall solar powered as he led the “switch-on” of the power facility, which is capable of producing 1.5 megawatts of electricity.

With its new solar power facility, SM North EDSA is now considered the world’s largest solar-powered mall.

“The system we have just launched is even bigger, with 5,760 solar panels… expected to generate 1.5 (MWs) of solar energy, which I’m told can cover five percent of this mall’s average consumption per day,” Aquino said.

He said it was another milestone for SM as it was able to energize SM Xiamen in China last year with 1.1 MW of solar energy using 3,740 solar panels.

“Given the amount of energy that the mall requires to run, such a percentage will generate savings of above P2 million a month,” Aquino said.

“This is significant, in light of the challenges that will confront our energy sector in the near future. 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 megawatts, next summer,” he said.

“This is not a challenge the national government can overcome alone, which is why we are working with all sectors to address this issue,” he added.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. worked with Solar Philippines – the company behind the largest commercial rooftop solar power projects in the country – in the installation of 5,760 solar panels and 60 inverters for the project.

SM said the power facility would light up 16,000 lighting fixtures and run 59 escalators and 20 elevators at the mall.

“SM Prime is constantly in pursuit of the highest level of operational efficiency to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs by minimizing electricity consumption,” said the retail and property giant in a statement.

“In line with this, strong emphasis is put in investing in the latest innovations in sustainable and energy-efficient technology,” it added.

SM Prime said it hopes that the project would serve as a model for other commercial and industrial establishments.

Leandro Leviste, president of Solar Philippines, said the scale of the project makes it competitive with conventional power facilities. Leviste is a son of Sen. Loren Legarda, whose main advocacy is environment protection.

“Solar has gained the reputation of being expensive, not because of the technology, but because previous efforts were too small to benefit from economies of scale. By building the country’s largest projects, we’ve become the first local company to make solar cost-competitive with fossil fuel,” Leviste said.

Aquino said he looks forward to seeing similar projects at SM Dasmariñas and at the Mall of Asia, as promised by the retail giant.

“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 kind of solar facilities,” said Aquino.

“These are the kinds of decisions that show your corporation’s awareness of its responsibility to the environment and the society in which it operates,” he added.

Legarda, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy also attended the launch.


Source: PhilStar

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