The increasing usage of solar energy in the Philippines is undeniable, especially now that the world’s largest solar powered shopping mall came to life at Robinsons Starmills which is located in San Fernando, Pampanga. Launched on May 30, 2016, the 2.88 mega-watt system consists of 10,880 solar panels covering a whopping 1.75 hectares of roof space. With the system slated to offset up to 95% of daytime demand, the facility is seen to cut carbon dioxide emission by 2.25 million kilograms. This almost equivalent to planting 100,000 trees or removing 5.5 million miles worth of carbon emissions from cars.
With the installation of Solenergy’s system, Robinsons Starmills set the new global milestone for having the largest solar power plant on its roof, besting SM North Edsa which previously held the record with its 1.5 mega-watt installation which was inaugurated in 2014.
According to Frederick Go, the president of Robinsons Land Corp, they are continuously looking for ways to adopt sustainable practices and minimize carbon footprint by steadily shifting to using renewable energy. The project would not be accomplished if it wasn’t for Solenergy Systems Inc., who RLC contacted to install the solar panels on the mall’s roof and accomplish the company’s dream to offer power savings through a comprehensive and fully integrated, on-site solution. At the same time, Solenergy Systems Inc. was also tapped by RLC as EPC contractor for a 742-kilowatt peak solar power system for Robinsons Angeles shopping mall. Both projects were worked on simultaneously, demonstrating the company’s strong ability to work on multiple projects within a given timeframe.
In the past they were also contacted by RLC to work on Robinsons Place Iloilo.
In an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Go said that RLC’s move to install solar power facilities in all of its malls shows the company’s commitment to help protect the environment since solar energy is sustainable and renewable. With the continual advancements in solar panel technology, it makes said innovation more efficient and lowers the cost of production. Go also added that the other reasons they chose solar energy over other renewable energy sources are that solar power facilities require very little maintenance; they do not generate noise; and solar power plants produce no emissions at all.
Go also noted that Pampanga’s local government is installing bicycle lanes, encouraging citizens to drink tap water instead of buying the ones in disposable bottles and other activities that help promote environment awareness. He said the Robinsons Starmills is the company’s way of giving back to the community and contributing to the local government’s efforts. Their goal is to eventually install solar power facilities in all of RLC’s 41 malls, saying that there is a global trend to shift to the use of renewable energy sources. In addition to that, Go said that all of their future malls will be designed to ensure that the layout of the roofs will allow the most efficient installation of solar panels to make the most of the power provided by the sun.