Sunday, April 12, 2015

Robinsons malls to go solar in Visayas

In line with its renewable energy program, Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) is poised to install rooftop solar panels on three of its malls in Visayas -- namely, in Dumaguete, Roxas, and Iloilo.

Provided by contractor Solar Philippines, the off-grid solar photo voltaic (PV) panels will cover for roughly 20 percent of each mall's electricity consumption. This should cut back approximately P1 million in electrical expenditures, and offset as much as 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide (C02) emissions annually, according to RLC.

Robinsons Place Palawan stands as the first of the company's chain of malls to benefit from solar energy. The mall now runs its light fixtures, escalators, and elevators on 4,710 solar panels installed over 15,000 square meters. To date, it is the biggest off-grid rooftop solar power system in the Philippines.

Frederick Go, RLC President, expressed that the Palawan solar facilities "serve as the company's noble contribution to be part of the global solution to avert global warming and lessen our country's dependence on imported fossil fuel through the development of clean and green energy." Additionally, the solar facilities should "aid in addressing the looming power shortage by reducing energy consumption from the grid."

"What is good about solar power, weather permitting, is that the peak energy production coincides with the mall's peak load during the day thus further relieving the burden on the local electric cooperative during peak hours," said Go.

According to Go, the company is prioritizing its retail centers in Visayas due to the high cost of electricity in the region (Palawan is the largest island not serviced by the National Grid Corporation). RLC has further plans to expand its solar panels to five to six malls once the panels have been equipped for the current batch.


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