Largest solar rooftop soon to rise at SM North Edsa
from July 1, 2014 04:00 pm to July 1, 2014 04:00 pm
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Manila Standard By Macon Ramos-Araneta
Retail giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. is building the country’s largest commercial solar rooftop as part of its commitment to use clean and renewable energy in its fast-expanding operations.
Hans T. Sy, scion of the retail magnate Henry Sy, said a 1.5 megawatt (1,500 kilowatt) solar rooftop is currently being constructed at the SM City North Edsa. It will be used to power up a significant portion of the mall’s energy requirements, added Sy, president of SM Prime.
The solar rooftop project will be operational in October this year, Sy said, thus making SM City North Edsa the largest solar-powered mall in the world.
It will be built by Solar Philippines, the same company behind the other largest commercial solar rooftop installations in the country.
“This is just one of many renewable projects we have been doing in our developments and we will continue finding ways on how to make our operations more environmentally sound and sustainable,” he said.
One megawatt hour of solar electricity offsets about one ton of carbon dioxide. Solar plants also produce electricity during peak hours when the grid supply is tight preventing power blackouts.
SM Prime also built a 1.1-megawatt rooftop solar power project in its Xiamen mall last year, the first shopping mall in the group’s growing portfolio in mainland China.
The project involves the installation of 3,740 solar panels on the roof of SM City Xiamen Phase 1 and Phase 2 (SM Lifestyle Center), with a total investment of 13.2 million renminbi (RMB) or $ 2 million.
For its pioneering efforts in upgrading its services, SM City Xiamen was awarded the Mall China Golden Mall Awards 2014 Excellent Upgrade last April in Shanghai by the Mall China Information Center (or Mall China), the first non-profit organization in Mainland China catering to China’s retail property sector and is the largest shopping center retail organization in China.
“We want to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs by minimizing electricity consumption. We place strong emphasis in investing in the latest innovations in sustainable and energy efficient technology,” Sy said.
He said disaster-resiliency has been in the forefront of SM Prime’s development because of the many disasters that had hit the nation the past.
“The impacts of disasters have become a growing concern not only with the government but especially for us in the private sector. We have all suffered from the devastating effects of disasters,” he pointed out.