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Robinsons Land plans more solar farms in malls

/ 07:07 AM September 18, 2017


Robinsons Place Dumaguete’s rooftop solar farm was commissioned in April 2016 and has a total of 5,920 solar panels producing an annual yield of 1,725,680 kW-Hr.

Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. has unveiled plans to install solar farms on the roofdecks of more of its shopping malls, making it the dominant renewable energy generator among Philippine property developers.

RLC is now in the process of installing additional 10,000 solar panels with a capacity of almost 4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in four of its shopping malls: Robinsons Cybergate Cebu (65,236 kWh), Robinsons Galleria Cebu (1.31 million kWh), Robinsons Place Tagum (1.96 million kWh) and Robinsons Place Palawan (expansion of 3.96 million kWh).

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The new installation is seen to cut RLC’s carbon dioxide footprint by 2,784 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting more than 72,000 trees.

To date, 11 of RLC’s shopping malls have already been converted to solar power generators using roofdeck installations. These consist of about 48,000 solar panels, mostly in malls outside Metro Manila, allowing RLC to produce more than 15 million kWh of clean energy annually.

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The installation of solar panels in four more shopping malls will boost RLC’s total installation to almost 58,000 solar panels with a total solar power yield of over 19,000 million kWh a year, equivalent to powering 1,792 new homes for a year and eliminating more than 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

“As one of the biggest consumers of electricity, having our own renewable source of clean energy allows us to reduce our carbon footprint and do our share in protecting the environment by using less electricity produced by the burning of fossil fuels,” RLC president Frederick Go said in a statement.

Upon completion, the 15 million kWh produced by RLC’s rooftop solar panels would have resulted in the release of 10,674 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if produced by thermal power plants. This would require the planting of more than 276,000 trees to absorb this greenhouse gas.

Additional solar farm facilities are also being finalized in Robinsons malls in Ilocos, Pangasinan, Santiago (Isabela), Naga, Antique (expansion), Tacloban (expansion) and General Santos City.

​Solar power facilities are already in operation in RLC malls in Palawan, Iloilo, Antique, Dumaguete, Roxas, Novaliches, Star Mills, Angeles, Tacloban, and Jaro as well as on the roof of Robinsons Cybergate Bacolod. The last three were commissioned in the last 12 months.

​The facility installed in Robinsons Starmills in San Fernando, Pampanga is to date recognized as the largest mall rooftop solar power facility in the world. The roofdeck solar farm consists of 10,880 solar panels with an annual yield of 3.2 million KWH.

Go said that RLC was committed to install solar power facilities in all of its malls “as a responsible corporate citizen conscious of the need for sustainable development.” RLC currently operates a chain of 46 shopping malls across the country.

With their large footprint and large daytime electricity requirements, the roofdeck of shopping malls present good opportunities to harness the power of the sun for power generation. In the case of RLC, it is investing in rooftop solar plants in as as many of its shopping malls as possible, paring its monthly electricity bill while contributing to climate change mitigation.

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RLC embraced solar power among other renewable energy sources mainly due to very little maintenance required by solar power facilities. Once installed and working at optimum conditions, only minimum work is required each year to ensure that that these solar farms operate at full efficiency. In addition, solar plants produce no emissions and are silent energy producers. No noise is generated by photovoltaic panels as they convert light into usable electricity.

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