Saturday, August 2, 2014

SM Prime Building Largest Comm’l Solar Rooftop

LARGEST COMMERCIAL SOLAR ROOFTOP: SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans T. Sy (third from left) shakes hands with Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste to seal the deal for the construction of the largest commercial solar rooftop in the country. Others in photo are (from left) Christopher Bautista, SMPHI chief finance officer; Steven T. Tan,  SMPHI senior vice president; Rhoel Carlo Gonzaga,  Solar Philippines head design engineer and Aldren B. Samson, Solar Philippines business operations manager.
MANILA, Philippines - Retail giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. is building the largest  commercial solar rooftop in the Philippines as part of its  commitment to use clean, renewable and sustainable energy in  its operations.

SM Prime president Hans T. Sy said a 1.5-megawatt (1,500  kilowatt) solar rooftop is currently being built at the SM  City North Edsa which will be used to power up a significant  portion of the mall’s energy requirements.

The solar rooftop project, the largest of its kind on a  commercial establishment in the country, will be operational  by October this year and make SM City North Edsa the largest  solar-powered mall in the world.  It will be built by Solar Philippines, led by its president  Leandro L. Leviste, the same company behind the other  largest commercial solar rooftop installations in the  country. 

“SM Prime has always been committed to reduce greenhouse  emissions and maximize energy efficiency in our malls. This  is just one of many renewable projects we have been doing in  our developments and we will continue with finding ways on  how to make our operations more environmentally sound and  sustainable,” Sy said.

In use, solar energy produces no emissions. 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 and the most  mature shopping mall in the group’s growing portfolio in  mainland China.
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The project involved 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.  Sy said:  “SM Prime is constantly in pursuit of the highest  level of operational efficiency. We want to significantly  reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs by  minimizing electricity consumption. In line with this, we  place strong emphasis in investing in the latest innovations  in sustainable and energy efficient technology.”

Sy stressed the need for greater sustainability and  disaster-resiliency has been in the forefront of SM  Prime’s development because of the many disasters that had  hit the nation the past decade.  

“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.

It is the reason why he said, private businesses should  forge mutually beneficial public-private partnerships not  only to protect businesses, both in the government and  private sectors, but save lives. 

“We have to address disaster assistance and mitigation  issues in a holistic approach ... It has become a business  case for all of us. We in the private sector play an  important role not only with our own businesses, but also  with our partners, our employees and the communities we  serve,” he noted.

Sy said private businesses should also put disaster  resiliency on top of their priorities because it would be  cheaper and more valuable in the long run. For the Mall of  Asia complex, Sy pointed out, SM devotes around 30 percent  of its budget to make the whole area disaster-resilient.

As  a result, it had survived 50 typhoons, four earthquakes and  two floods from monsoon storms since it was built in 2006.

Great strides were also implemented through sustainable  designs of its other malls, notably in SM Marikina, SM  Masinag and SM Muntinlupa.

Sy said SM Prime invests heavily in the longevity of its  establishments to ensure continuous operation and safeguard  the communities around them.  He said their efforts  paid off when SM Marikina and SM Muntinlupa survived the  massive rainfall brought by tropical storms Ondoy and Pepeng  in 2009.  Not only did it survive the massive flooding because of the  concrete stilts in the ground floor, SM Marikina became a  refuge for stranded people and food seekers. It also became  a repacking center for relief goods.  

“The safety of the communities, employees, customers, and  the facility structure remain top priorities in all SM Prime  developments.  As I tell my design teams ever so  frequently, ensuring safety is the only way I can sleep  well,” Sy said.


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