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Kick start your day, March 30: Robinsons malls invest in solar panels

Plus, Meralco explains the pending power hike in April.
By Entrepreneur Staff |

SOLAR POWERED. Robinsons malls take a big step towards becoming a producer of solar power for self-consumption. Photo from Flick r/ Lester Shih


Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) is set to be the biggest producer of solar power for self-consumption in the local real estate industry.


In a news release, RLC President Frederick Go said solar facilities will be installed in 10 of the company’s 41 Robinsons malls nationwide by yearend.



When completed, those malls will generate an annual power yield of 15.94 million kilowatt-hours, which would be equivalent to planting 223,965 full grown trees and avoiding production of up to 8,760 tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. 


“With these solar facilities, Robinsons Land is showing its commitment to the environment by building a greener future and helping in the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Go. He added that the solar facilities are investments to produce renewable energy for its malls’ own consumption. It is estimated that those would account for 30% of the 10 malls’ electricity requirements.


RLC has already completed the installation of solar panels in its Robinsons malls in Palawan and Iloilo. Completion of installation is set in April in Robinsons malls in Dumaguete, Antique, and Roxas, while Robinsons malls in Novaliches, Angeles, and San Fernando will complete their installation by May.


The solar facilities in Robinsons Novaliches will be the first installation under a franchise with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), while the installation in San Fernando will be the biggest solar facility for self-consumption in the Philippines.



By the latter half of 2016, installations of the solar panels in Robinsons Place Tacloban and Robinsons Cybergate Bacolod are set to be completed.


SUMMER RATE HIKE. Meralco explains the latest increase in electric consumption rate. Photo from Flickr / Crumpylicious Blog


Power rate hike set in April

MERALCO announced that there will be an electric consumption rate hike in April, with a typical household using 200 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power per month will see its electric bill increase by P16.80 ($0.36).



The rate hike might be further higher if other bill charges (generation, transmission, and distribution) and related taxes also increase. Meralco said the increase is the result of regulators’ approval of higher Feed-in-Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) charges amounting to P0.1240 ($0.0027) per kWh for 2016.


FIT-All is a standard charge billed on electricity that runs through the national distribution or transmission network. The added charges on bills go to a fund overseen by the National Transmission Corp (Transco), which in turn pays guaranteed rates as incentives to producers of renewable energy under the FIT scheme.


This year, the FIT-All payments from consumers will be used to fund renewable energy projects amounting to about P6.92 billion ($149.35 million). The bulk of this amount (P2.79 billion or $60.21 million) goes to wind projects;P2.59 billion ($55.90 million) to solar; P1.26 billion ($27.19 million) to biomass; and P282.52 million ($609,730) funds hydro-electric endeavors. – James Humarang

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