SM City Iloilo launches solar panels

To meet the growing demand for energy efficiency and sustainability amid climate change, SM Supermalls is poised to complete the installation of a total of 33,000 solar panels in its various malls.

One of them is SM City Iloilo which has 2,904 solar panels that could generate 827 kilowatts of energy directly into the mall. Their solar technology installed by Solar Philippines is so advanced that they no longer have to store the generated energy before using it.

The use of solar energy "reaffirms SM Prime's commitment to its role as a catalyst for economic growth, delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities that enrich the quality of life of millions," said Majella Libo-on, SM Regional Operations Manager for Visayas 3.

Solar panels of SM City Iloilo. They have 2,904 solar panels with each panel generating 285 watts, thus a total of 827 kilowatts. Once SM Prime completes their solar panels installation program, they will have approximately 33,000 solar panels capable of producing 8.9 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to fully charge around 1.3 million cellphones, light up 890,000 10-watt LED lamps, run 297,000 30-watt electric fans, or provide power to almost 6,000 households.

The other SM malls that have solar panels as of August 2017 are SM Mall of Asia, SM City Cauayan, SM City Cabanatuan. To follow are SM City Trece Martires, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM City Dasmarinas, SM City Olongapo, and SM City Tuguegarao Downtown.

This is one of the “green initiatives” of SM Supermalls. In Iloilo City, they hold Trash to Cash where Ilonggos can sell their recyclable wastes to scrap buyers every first Friday and Sunday of the month. Their sewage treatment plant recycles water and this treated wastewater is used for their air conditioning system.

In our age of industrialization, the burning of fossil fuels has been prevalent. This activity generates carbon dioxide and harmful gases like methane and nitrogen oxide, which are responsible for trapping heat resulting to global warming.

Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa, acting mayor for Iloilo City, said that the solar panels installation at SM City Iloilo is a welcome event now that the earth experiences global warming.

"One effect of global warming is that typhoons and hurricanes are getting stronger," said Espinosa. "When we were younger, the highest typhoon signal is 3. Now, it's 5. Typhoons are natural coolants for hot areas. The hotter [the atmosphere], the stronger the typhoons. The Philippines is in the direct path of typhoons coming from the Pacific Ocean," he explained.

"We are thankful to SM in making our environment better. We pray that later, with new technologies, one solar panel can already power one home," he added.

Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III and Dir. Rosario Cabrera of the Office of Civil Defense 6, together with SM Regional Operations Manager for Visayas 3 Girlie Liboon(4th, 5th and 6th from the left) lead the switch-on and joined by (from left) SM City Iloilo Asst. Mall Manager Darrel john Defensor, Mr. Rabbie Chris Carvajal – Chief of the DENR-EMB 6 Environmental Education and Communication Section, Councilor RLeone Geroche-Committee on Environment chairman, Provincial Information and Community Affairs Chief Nerio Lujan and Engr. Robert Escuto --Senior Environmental Mgt. Specialist and Chief of Pollution Control, Iloilo City CENRO.

Speaking of powering homes with solar energy, an article published in Rapper shared that a businessman who was using 20 solar panels at home was able to cut his monthly electricity expenses in half.

Additionally, Home Development Fund is offering loans up to P500,000 as part of its solar panel installation program./Kathy Villalon/Iloilo Updates


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