Rex Group first PH publishing house to go solar

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The Rex Group of Companies switched on its 178.5-kilowatt peak (kWp) solar rooftop on Tuesday at its Quezon City offices, becoming the first publishing house in the country to go solar.

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The 595-photovoltaic module solar power plant can generate up to 216,036 kilowatt-hours in its first year of operation, displacing Rex’s power consumption by 20 percent.

ISO-certified solar solutions provider Greenheat Corp., which installed the solar rooftop in 155 days, said that Rex’s solar energy initiative reduces carbon emission by 108 metric tons each year, which is equivalent to having 1,080 adult trees planted within its vicinity.

“We cannot reduce the impact of climate change without transforming global energy systems, but today, we have the unique opportunity to transform not only our company but society as well,” Rex Printing COO Don Timothy I. Buhain said during the switch-on ceremony.

The solar power plant is part of Rex’s energy conservation and efficiency program that institutionalizes the practice of saving energy using available technologies.

“As a company whose core business is to produce books and with paper as its raw material, the solar power plant is definitely a worthwhile project,” Rex Group Chairman and President Dominador D. Buhain said.

Manufacturing companies have the most to gain from going solar because of the nature of their business, according to Greenheat Director Glenn Tong.

“Your operations never stop and you have a constant power usage, so by being the pioneer in using this system, Rex is showing that this is the way of the future for the country,” said Tong.

The shift towards renewable and sustainable energy is gaining ground in the country against the backdrop of a looming global energy crisis, in which the Asia-Pacific region may bear the heaviest repercussions. The region is home to 4.5 billion people or 60 percent of the world’s population, according to United Nations’ estimates.

Though slow to start, the shift from traditional to renewable energy in the country has picked up pace since 2012, after legislators enacted Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that promotes the development, utilization, and commercialization of renewable energy resources.

Rex Chairman Buhain also said that with the “apparent benefits of the solar power plant not just to our business operations, but most importantly to the environment, we hope to replicate this in our future undertakings.”

An ISO-certified local solar power company, Greenheat Corp. specializes in the design and construction of solar PV systems. Among its milestone projects include the rural electrification program of the Philippine government and the solar rooftops of the Procurement Service-Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System, Asian Development Bank, Asia Brewery, Inc., REDCORP and various Wilcon Depot outlets.

Greenheat has been supporting the government’s renewable energy program for private schools, installing the solar rooftops of six schools to date: St. Joseph School of Iloilo, Manuel L. Quezon University-Manila, St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, St. Paul College of Parañaque, St. Scholastica’s Academy-Marikina, and Canossa School of Sta Rosa, Laguna.

The company is presently working on the 99.2 kWp solar rooftop of St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove at Ayala Westgrove Heights in Silang, Cavite.

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