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Solar-powered lamp posts eyed for NLEx

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 11:50 PM August 09, 2011

Manila North Tollways Corp. is planning to replace existing streetlights along the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) with solar-powered lamp posts, in a bid to reduce costs over the long term.

At the sidelines of the unveiling of the solar-powered car, Sikat II, on Monday, Metro Pacific Group assistance vice president for MNTC Glenn Campos said the replacement of each 400-watt “high pressure sodium lamp” with a solar-powered lamp would cost about P150,000.

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With about 1,000 posts along the stretch of NLEx, which runs from Balintawak to Dau, the proposed project may cost about P150 million.

When asked about potential savings, Campos declined to cite figures, noting that the company was still in the testing stage which would determine the feasibility of using solar-powered lamp posts.

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Currently, however, MNTC is already using solar power for its other facilities.

“In all of our emergency call boxes, there are solar panels installed to power them, so that even if there is no power, motorists can still use the call box. Also in our camera along the Candaba viaduct, it is difficult to install power lines there, so we installed solar panels to power the CCTVs [closed circuit television],” Campos explained.

Rodrigo Franco, president of MNTC, added that solar power was being used only in less critical systems, such as in emergency call boxes. Franco further said that while they already had one solar-powered lamp post for testing, MNTC would need to have a bigger solar panel to power more posts.

However, the company is still determining the areas where the solar panels would be installed and how they are going to be installed.

The company said that should it decide to push through with the plan, it would require huge tracts of land to house the solar panels.

Franco also said the company was banking on assumptions that the existing solar technology would soon improve and drive prices of the panel down.

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TAGS: company, Energy, expressway, lamp posts, lighting, Manila North Tollways Corp., nlex, solar energy
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