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Solar panel instalment to be completed

Ray Chen Bahinting

Silliman University(SU) started its instalment of the 1.2-megawatt solar energy project in Luce Auditorium, Silliman Main Library and the College of Business Administration (CBA) building.

The installation for those buildings started last May 2016 and is to be finished before the Founders week celebration in August.

These solar panels are donated by Orion Group International, Inc.

In a forum last July 2015, the Executive Vice President of Orion Group International, Inc., Rynor G. Jamandre said that SU will be able  to save from its estimated monthly power bill of Php4 M. The savings could be used to buy more books, computers, desks and chairs, and even the construction of new buildings.

According to an article published in the Weekly Sillimanian last July 29 2015, Jamandre stated that the solar power project will be a grid-tie system and would need no batteries for the solar panels. He said that it will cost between Php80,000 and Php100,000 per kilowatt of solar energy (without batteries), as opposed to Php180,000 to Php250,000 per kilowatt (with batteries).

A total of 200 kilowatt is expected to be produced from the solar panels that will occupy the whole rooftop of Luce Auditorium, SU Main Library and CBA building.

Edgar S. Ygnalaga, superintendent of the Buildings and Grounds department, said, “Actually, it is not only the Luce auditorium, library and the CBA that will benefit but it is the whole university; because the power that will be generated from the solar panels will be connected to the grid.  So meaning to say, if there is no use of the Luce Auditorium, the power will go to the grid and will be used by other areas.”

Although the 200 kilowatt power cannot sustain the whole energy-consumption of those three buildings, it is expected to help in saving electricity of the university.

If all the solar panels will be installed in 35 buildings of the university, Ygnalaga said we can reduce the 462 megawatt/hour monthly energy-consumption of the university.

Currently, only the library has completely installed the pedestals (will serve as weight for the solar panels), while the Luce Auditorium is half-way done with the instalment.

Mark Ian Caballes, manager of the Luce Auditorium, said, “It will definitely help cut cost and it’s a much greener approach to power generation. It will actually supply more than the Luce and library… Knowing that the Luce is one of the buildings with the biggest power consumption… This will really be a welcome change.”

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