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Leyte Government Switches On Solar Power System In Capitol Complex

Leyte Government Switches On Solar Power System In Capitol Complex

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Leyte’s provincial government inaugurated its solar power system project that will energize the new capitol complex here to make the property a model for renewable energy.

During the official switch-on on Thursday, Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla urged other local government units and government offices in the province to use renewable energy to save power bills and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts.

“The concept of the provincial capitol is basically to distribute power so that this building still has its own power plant. Can you imagine if everybody had their own power plant? The fact is if the distribution lines are cut, we still have power,” Petilla said.

The project that began midway through last year has an initial budget of PHP70 million. The actual investment is higher as they added more solar panels due to increasing energy demand.

The solar power system has 500-kilowatt (kW) batteries and 420-kW solar panels installed on both sides of the provincial government complex designated parking spaces.

It will supply at least 80 percent of the energy requirement of the provincial capitol.

“We should have a solar power system for each municipal hall, and perhaps we should have this system in each building or each house,” he added.

Based on initial estimates, the project can help the provincial capital save about PHP500,000 in monthly electric bills because of the project.

Petilla said setting up a solar power system has become more affordable now, costing only PHP8 per kilowatt hour (kWh), less than the PHP12 per kWh charged by electric cooperatives.

“In the past, it was more expensive to have your own solar power system at PHP25 per KWh, compared to the electric cooperative’s PHP9 per KWh,” said the former energy secretary who served from 2012 to 2015.

The high cost of electricity is largely influenced by the rising cost of running a power plant fed by fossil fuels.

Most electric cooperatives in Leyte get their power supply from GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. based in Mariveles, Bataan. The power source uses coal fuel from abroad. (PNA)