Gov't offices next to go solar

Monday, December 15, 2014 12:00 AM    Views : 1156by:Jed Macapagal

Following the lead of several academic institutions in the country, the Department of Energy (DOE) said government offices are the next batch of establishments to try out solar power technology.

"House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. instructed me to put the Congress building next in line. We are currently at the exploratory stage and will study the structure. Their parking lot is most likely to also be equipped with solar panels. We are expecting for it to have a total capacity of 1 megawatt (MW) at the very least," DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said.

He added that the solar technology that will be used by Congress will be up for bidding.

Petilla cited the Philippine Air Force is also showing some interest in powering up its buildings at the Villamor Airbase with solar technology.

"The only question we have for them is if they are going to stay in their current location. It is a valid concern as contracts for solar facilities last for 15 years. What if their place is sold within 10 years?" Petilla said.

He said the energy department's office in Taguig will utilize solar power.

"DOE will go into it (solar technology) but we cannot be the proponent, we need an arm. We are initiating the trend but we lack in manpower. I will most likely assign the implementation to the PNOC-RC (Philippine National Oil Co.-Renewables Corp.). Our only involvement should be in making the policy," Petilla said.

He said DOE has set next year's additional solar power capacity to be at 10 MW and will bring in more schools and government offices to join the development.

"You can never tell how many institutions are going to be included because it depends on the size of each project. Because of so many interests for solar technology at the moment, some of them are already moving on their own even without our initiative," Petilla noted.

Through the DOE's initiative, several schools in the country are now powered up with solar power facilities such as the Manuel L. Quezon University, La Consolacion College-Manila and most recently, St. Scholastica's College-Manila.

Last year, the government recorded total power generation from solar technology to be at 1,414 megawatt hours.


S & T Trivia

" Dr. Nic Liquido pioneered the research on light-activated dyes that control many fruit flies. He is a University of the Philippines (UP) alumnus and former lab director of the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Research Service. "

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