SM solar panels start supplying power to Luzon

by Danessa O. Rivera – December 17, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The 1.5-megawatt (MW) solar rooftop project in one of the shopping malls of the Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc. has started contributing power to the Luzon grid to boost the supply in the island.

In the recent Philippine Electricity Market Update, the solar-powered facility at SM City North EDSA has been listed under the new generation capacities for the Luzon grid contributing an additional 1.5 MW capacity to the power supply.

The solar plant, owned and operated by Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc., is covered by a renewable energy service contract issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) to the same company.

It is also included under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system, which entitles power developers to receive a set of incentives for a period of time to build renewable energy (RE) projects.

DOE Assistant Secretary and Renewable Energy Management Bureau director Mario Marasigan said the inclusion of the solar power plant in SM North EDSA in the electricity market means the power it generates contributes to the stabilization of the power supply in Luzon areas.

“Unlike other solar rooftop projects which are dedicated for self-use of the building, Solar Philippines’ (SM Prime Holdings Inc.) 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,” he said.

Inaugurated in November 2014, the SM North EDSA solar power installation is the largest solar-powered rooftop in a commercial establishment in Southeast Asia.

It is composed of 5,760 solar panels. It produces enough power to energize 1,000 households or 150,000 10-watt light bulbs or charge 214,285 cellular phones, which could offset 1,200 tons of C02 or the equivalent of planting 6,000 trees per year.

“It is part of SM Prime’s continuing commitment towards making its operations sustainable and environment friendly as the world prepares for the effects of climate change,” SM Prime president Hans Sy said.

Apart from SM North EDSA, the developer has also installed solar panels in its other malls here and in China.

The first SM mall to operate with solar energy is in Xiamen, China, which generates 1.1 MW from 3,740 solar panels. For this pioneering effort, it was awarded the Mall China Golden Mall Awards 2014 Excellent Upgrade last April in Shanghai.

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

SM Prime and Solar Philippines have also agreed to put up similar projects in other SM malls, which include SM Dasmariñas and at the Mall of Asia.