SM North EDSA is now world's biggest solar-powered mall

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Nov 24 2014 12:39 PM | Updated as of Nov 25 2014 10:38 PM

Solar panels are seen at the rooftop of SM North EDSA mall’s parking building on Monday. The mall activated its solar powered rooftop which is expected to provide savings for around 30% to 40% of its power consumption. Photo by Jonathan Cellona for ABS-CBNnews.com

Solar power projects underway at MOA, Dasmarinas

MANILA, Philippines -- SM City North EDSA in Quezon City is now the world's largest solar-powered mall, after its rooftop solar power project was switched on, Monday morning.

President Benigno Aquino and SM Prime president Hans Sy led the switch-on ceremony at the rooftop of SM North's multi-level car park, where the 5.760 solar panels are installed.

"This is significant in light of the challenges that will confront our energy sector," Aquino said.

Solar Philippines, led by 21-year-old Leandro Leviste, partnered with SM Malls to build the solar panels that could generate up to 1.5-MW power. This is SM's second solar power project after it installed a 1.1-MW project at its SM City Xiamen mall in China.

SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia said the 1.5-MW of electricity generated by the solar panels can power 16,000 light fixtures, 59 escalators and 20 elevators of SM North at the same time. This represents 5 percent of the mall's total electricity requirements.

She said using the solar panels can generate up to P2 million in savings every month for SM North.

Garcia said SM has two rooftop solar power projects by Solar Philippines in the pipeline --in SM Dasmarinas in Cavite and SM Mall of Asia in Paranaque.

SM Dasmarinas will have a capacity of 0.8MW using 3,740 solar panels. It is expected to be operational by May 2015.

SM Mall of Asia will also have 10,500 solar panels installed, as part of the mall's expansion. Garcia said the project, which will generate 2.7-MW, may go online by the end of 2015.

Asked if more SM malls would have solar power projects, Garcia said it would depend on the studies conducted by Solar Philippines.

"We've started with them and we would like to partner with the best," she said.

President Aquino switches on the solar powered rooftop at the SM City North EDSA mall on Monday. He is accompanied by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste and SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy. Photo by Jonathan Cellona for ABS-CBNnews.com

PNoy urges Congress to OK emergency powers

Amid a looming power shortage in Luzon in the summer of 2015, Aquino noted SM has committed to de-loading 57.9MW during critical times when supply falls short of demand next summer.

"This might not be enough to address the shortage but it is a very significant step forward... Government is doing everything to address this challenge," he said.

The President also urged the House and Senate to approve the joint resolution giving the government additional powers to address the looming energy crisis in the summer of 2015.

"We are hopeful both the House and the Senate would approve the joint resolution we requested sooner rather than later in order to give the national government enough time to contract the necessary reserves," Aquino said.

The House energy committee had earlier voted to approve House Joint Resolution 21 granting Aquino additional powers.