Monday, November 24, 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III Graces SM City North Edsa's Solar Powered Rooftop Launch

Last September, I was at the Green Retail Agenda Symposium where I first learned about Solar Philippines, a local company that builds solar powered rooftops. I was so impressed with its president Leandro Legarda Leviste's talk that I felt compelled to pitch the story to my editor at Manila Bulletin's Business Agenda section. Read that story here.

Leandro Leviste and Hans Sy
Earlier today, SM Prime Holdings Inc. marked another milestone in its commitment to achieving sustainability in its operations and development. Finally, the solar powered rooftop at the SM City North Edsa was activated. President Benigno S. Aquino III and SM Prime President Hans Sy led the switching on of the solar powered rooftop located on the mall's Multi-level Carpark Building.  

(L-R) Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Speaker, House of Representatives,
Jericho L. Petilla, Secretary, Department of Energy; President Benigno S. Aquino III;
Leandro Leviste; and Hans Sy

With the Philippines facing a potential energy shortage in 2015, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Solar Philippines worked closely to promote eco-friendly shopping in Metro Manila through the installation of 5,760 solar panels and 60 inverters that could generate up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity. Curious how much energy this is? 1.5MW can power:
  • 1,000 homes (with average monthly electrical consumption of 150kWh)
  • 150,000 10-watt light bulbs
  • full charging of 214,285 cell phones
  • 170,000 30-watt electric fans
  • 16,000 lighting fixtures, 59 escalators, and 20 elevators of SM City North Edsa all at the same time
  • 136,000 900-watt microwave ovens running at 1 hour per day
  • 13,500 refrigerators (38-watt, 16 cu ft.) running 24 hours per day
  • 127,500 laptops (using 15-60 watts or ave. of 40-watts) running for 24 hours a day or over 1 million laptops running at 4 hours per day
President Aquino
Impressive, right? In addition, the power generated by SM North Edsa offsets 1,200 tons of CO2 or the equivalent of planting 6,000 trees a year. This rooftop installation covers an area of one and a half hectares. It is currently the largest rooftop power plant in the Philippines. We were told that more solar projects will be developed soon in other SM malls. 

Renewable energy sources like solar energy operate with zero CO2 emissions, which can help mitigate climate change and promote cleaner air. Through this initiative, more electricity can be made available for surrounding communities.

Trivia: SM Xiamen in mainland China, is actually the first SM Mall in the world to operate using solar energy. It generates 1.1MW using 3,740 solar panels. For this pioneering effort, the mall was awarded the Mall China Golden Mall Awards 2014 Excellent Upgrade last April. 

SM Prime is constantly in pursuit of the highest level of operational efficiency to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs by minimizing energy consumption. In line with this, it puts strong emphasis on investing in the latest innovations in sustainable and energy efficient technology. It also hopes to provide a business model for other commercial and industrial establishments to follow as this will not only make business sustainable but make future generations live in an environment that is safer and healthier as well. 

(L-R) Joy Belmonte Vice Mayor, Quezon City; Herbert Bautista, Mayor, Quezon City; 
Congressman Francisco “Boy” Calalay Jr. District 1, Quezon City; Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Speaker, House of Representatives; Jericho L. Petilla, Secretary, Department of Energy; 
Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson, SM Investments Corp.; President Benigno S. Aquino, III; 
Hans T. Sy, President, SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Leandro Leviste, President, Solar Philippines; 
Anna Garcia, President, SM Supermalls; Senator Loren Legarda; Steven Tan, SVP SM Supermalls
If you want to see the solar powered rooftop for yourself, visit the viewing deck located at the Northlink building of SM City North Edsa. Viewing starts on November 27 and is open every Thursday.

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