SM North Edsa’s solar-power rooftop new power source for Luzon grid

by Lenie Lectura
from BusinessMirror, 18 December 2015

SM City North Edsa (SMNE) mall’s solar-powered rooftop has been included as one of the new sources of power for the Luzon grid. The SMNE solar-powered rooftop, the largest solar-powered rooftop in a commercial establishment in Southeast Asia, is composed of 5,760 solar panels. It produces enough power to energize 1,000 households or 150,000 10-watt lightbulbs or charge 214,285 cellular phones. The power generated from the solar panels could offset 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide (C02), or the equivalent of planting 6,000 trees per year.

During the Philippine Electricity Market Update presentation, the solar-power plant at SMNE has been listed under the New Generation Capacities for Luzon Grid contributing an additional 1.5 megawatt (MW) capacity to the power supply within Luzon. Mario Marasigan, assistant secretary and director, Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE), said the inclusion of the solar-power plant in SMNE in the electricity market means the power it generates contributes to the stabilization of the power supply in Luzon.

He said the power plant is included under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) system, a scheme that involves the obligations on the part of electric-power industry participant to source electricity from renewable-energy (RE) generation at a guaranteed fixed price applicable to a given period of time. ”Unlike other solar-rooftop projects, which are dedicated for self-use of the building, Solar Philippines’s SMNE solar-power plant is the only commercial rooftop solar project within the heart of the Metro Manila that is connected to the Luzon grid, thus, contributing additional capacity to the power supply within Luzon areas,” Marasigan said.

The solar plant is owned and operated by Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc. (SPCRPI), led by its president, Leandro Legarda Leviste. It is covered by a RE service contract issued by the DOE.

The solar-powered rooftop, at the multilevel carpark building, was inaugurated by President Aquino, SM Prime President Hans Sy and Leviste in November 2014. ”It is part of SM Prime’s continuing commitment toward making its operations sustainable and environment friendly as the world prepares for the effects of climate change,” Sy said.

SM Prime has put up the first SM mall to operate using solar energy in Xiamen in mainland China using 3,740 solar panels, generating 1.1 MW power.

SM City Xiamen was awarded the China Golden Mall Awards 2014 Excellent Upgrade in April in Shanghai by the Mall China Information Center, the first nonprofit organization in Mainland China catering to the retail-property sector and the country’s largest shopping-center retail organization.

Similarly, SM City Jinjiang, also in China, has 4,012 solar panels which targets to generate 1.2 MW per year.

Sy has vowed to continue and expand the solar projects with the construction of more solar-powered rooftops in its existing malls.