Date
15 December 2017
Rows of solar cells stretch out on the roof of SM City North EDSA, one of the Philippines' biggest shopping malls. Photo: SM
Rows of solar cells stretch out on the roof of SM City North EDSA, one of the Philippines' biggest shopping malls. Photo: SM

Top Philippine mall goes solar

Next time you’re in an elevator, on an escalator or charging your mobile phone in a public station in Manila, you could be powering up on solar energy in one of its malls.

In fact, solar energy now powers dozens of escalators and elevators and tens of thousands of light bulbs in the Philippines’ biggest shopping center.

Retail and property giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. launched the country’s biggest experiment in rooftop solar power at its flagship SM City North EDSA mall.

The installation generates up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 1,000 households, according to the company.

It could offset 1,200 tons of carbon emission or produce the environmental benefits of planting 6,000 trees a year for 25 years, it said.

Homegrown energy company Solar Philippines built 5,760 solar panels on the mall’s rooftop, part of a group-wide effort to achieve sustainability across its mall and retail operations.

This comes as the Philippines faces a potential energy shortage in 2015 from surging electricity demand and outdated capacity.

“The days of having to choose between business and the environment are over,” Solar Philippines founder and president Leandro Leviste was quoted as saying by the Philippine Inquirer.

“Solar has gained the reputation of being expensive, not because of the technology but because previous efforts were too small to benefit from economies of scale,” he said.

SM Prime built its first solar project on its flagship mall in Xiamen, China, in 2013.

It generates a 1.1 MW of electricity from 3,740 rooftop panels.

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FL/RA

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