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SU to save on energy costs with launching of solar panels

Stephanie Ria Colinco

SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY (SU) will now start to run on solar power and save on annual energy costs after the blessing and switch-on ceremony of the university’s solar power facility last Aug. 23.

The installation of the solar panels in the Robert B. and Metta J. Siliman Library, Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium and the College of Business Administration building started last May 2016. Fifteen more buildings will be installed with the solar panels and are expected to finish by December 2016.

When all installations will be completed, the solar panels are said to generate 1.2 megawatts of power which can cover 98% of the university’s power consumption.

The project started last 2015 with Orion Group International, Inc. and their target to make SU the biggest solar-powered campus in Asia. The $2 million-worth 1.2 megawatt solar energy project was donated by Orion.

Rynor Jamandre, executive vice president of Orion, said SU can cut costs from its estimated monthly power bill of Php4 million. He added that with the savings, the university can buy more books, computers, desks and chairs, and can even construct new buildings.

According to Dr. Ben Malayang III, SU president, the solar panel project is a “win-win situation” for the university, its students, and the environment.

“Any cost saving in a university, such as a private university in Silliman is always a matter of reducing pressure for tuition and fees among our students while at the same time improving our ability to provide benefits to our faculty and staff. We believe that the calculus of the whole thing is win-win for everyone especially the environment,” Malayang said.

Malayang added that this project is SU’s way of “walking the talk” in academic institutions pledging to care for the environment.

The University Gymnasium, Instructional and Multimedia Center, Emilio T. Yap Hall, Luz Ausejo Hall, William Barry Thompson Hall, Olivia Villaflores-Yanson Hall, Mary Marquis Smith Hall, James W. Chapman Science Complex, Uytengsu Foundation Computer Center, Silliman Complex Annex, Charles Batchelor Building, Cicero D. Calderon Hall, Elementary School New Building, James F. McKinley Hall, and Dr. Angel C. Alcala Environmental and Marine Sciences Laboratories will also be installed with the solar panels this year.

*taken from philippinesdaily.org, news.pia.gov.ph, su.edu.ph, and theweeklysillimanian.com

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