SM mall’s solar rooftop now contributes to grid

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THE SM City North EDSA (SMNE) mall is now contributing power to the Luzon grid through its solar powered rooftop facility.

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According to a Philippine Electricity Market Update, SMNE’s solar power plant has been contributing an additional capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) to Luzon areas.

The mall’s solar power plant has been included in the new generation capacities for the Luzon grid by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC).

The PEMC is an autonomous group market operator that operates and maintains the Philippine Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

SMNE’s solar-powered rooftop is composed of 5,760 solar panels, making it the largest solar powered rooftop in a commercial establishment in Southeast Asia.

The solar facility produces enough power to energize 1,000 households or 150,000 10-watt light bulbs or charge 214,285 cellular phones.

The power it produces could offset 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide (C02) or the equivalent of planting 6,000 trees per year.

The solar facility is covered by a renewable energy (RE) service contract issued by the Department of Energy to Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc. (SPCRPI), the owner and operator.

Assistant Energy Secretary Mario Marasigan, who is also the director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), welcomed the inclusion of the SMNE solar power plant in the electricity market.

This means that the power the facility generates contributes to the stabilization of the power supply in the Luzon areas, he said.

“Unlike other solar rooftop projects which are dedicated for self-use of the building, Solar Philippines’ SMNE Solar Power Plant is the only commercial rooftop solar project within the heart of Metro Manila that is connected to the Luzon grid, thus contributing additional capacity to the power supply within Luzon areas,” said Marasigan.

The power plant, he added, is included under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system, a scheme that involves the obligations on the part of electric power industry participants to source electricity from RE generation at a guaranteed fixed price applicable to a given period of time.

The solar powered rooftop, located at the SM’s multi-level car park building, was inaugurated in November 2014.

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