Solar panels power chain of malls

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Advancing its green initiatives, SM Supermalls on Friday said it already completed the installation of solar panels in its branches in Cauayan, Isabela; Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija and Iloilo.

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The Henry Sy-owned retail company said it is inching closer to make its other malls in Cavite – Dasmariňas and Trece Martires; Olongapo, Zambales; Cebu and the upcoming in Tuguegarao, Cagayan all solar-powered in the succeeding months.

Its Cabanatuan mall will be lighted up early next month with a 412.97-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar energy facility which is composed of 1,449 panels.

Sheen Crisologo, SM City public relations officer, said this is part of SM Prime Holdings Inc.’s (SMPHI) commitment toward making its operations sustainable and environment friendly as the world prepare for the effects of climate change.

She said the solar rooftop project to be launched on September 5 is dedicated to mall energy utilization and will be connected to the Luzon grid contributing additional power supply for the community.

The solar rooftop is the second industrial solar project in Cabanatuan City, the first of which was the First Cabanatuan Ventures Corp. generating 10 megawatts (MW) power from the sun.

The project can produce approximately 558 megawatt-hours (MWH) annually, enough to energize 41,297 pieces of 10-watt light bulbs expected to save the mall some P70,000 in monthly electric bills.

Crisologo said great strides were achieved through sustainable designs of the mall, notable of which is the use of natural lighting through its sky light design at the 4th level Roof Park and LED lighting system to optimize electrical consumption.

She said the project capacity has an avoidance of 390.73 tons of carbon dioxide per year equivalent to 58,609 trees planted per year

The shopping chain operator is expecting to have installed about 33,000 solar panels capable of producing 8.9 megawatts of electricity, which can energize about 1.3 million cellular phones; light up 890,000 10-watt light-emitting diode (LED) lamps; operate 297,000 30-watt electric fans; or supply power to almost 6,000 households.

In 2014, SM City North EDSA inaugurated in 2014 its 1.5-MW solar rooftop project, a first in the Philippines.

Since then, the facility has been providing power to the Luzon grid. Two years later, SM Mall of Asia followed suit with the launch of its 2.7 MOA Solar carpark.

with  JORDEENE SHEEX LAGARE

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