Solar power fires up Iloilo’s entertainment hub
LOILO CITY—This Visayan city’s thrust to become a more livable community got a boost with the adoption of solar power in one of its popular food and entertainment spots.
Since March 12, the Riverside Boardwalk has been using solar power generated by panels installed on its rooftop.
It is Iloilo City’s first restaurant and entertainment center that has adopted solar energy.
The 10-kilowatt solar power system supplies about 10 percent of the establishment’s power needs of about 13,000 kilowatt-hours.
The establishment saves from a low of P12,549 to a high of P18,000 monthly (during summer) because of the self-generated solar energy, said Alvin Lopez, sales officer for Iloilo of Primos de Boracay, the firm that supplied and installed the solar power system.
Teodoro Pison, president of Riverside Boardwalk Properties Inc., said adopting solar energy for their business “was a natural progression from our commitment to the ecological preservation of the Iloilo River and its lush mangroves.”
He was referring to efforts to rehabilitate the Iloilo River and the establishment of the 1.2-kilometer Esplanade stretching from Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue to Carpenter’s Bridge in Mandurriao District here.
Efforts to rehabilitate and conserve the Iloilo River have drawn national and international recognition. The Esplanade has become a recreational center space for walking, jogging, open-air dining, and a venue for river water sports as well as a tourist attraction.
“Compared to the immense efforts and resources devoted to the dredging and cleaning of the river, and surrounding it with the Esplanade, the solar project pales in comparison. But it is a small step in the direction of reducing our carbon footprint and [mitigating the impact of] climate change,” Pison said in a statement.
The Boracay Island-based Primos de Boracay installed the 40 solar panels (250 watts per panel) on a 75-square-meter area on the Boardwalk’s rooftop at a cost of at least P1 million. The panels are covered by a five-year warranty.
The Boardwalk’s solar system can power an equivalent of 1,600 5-watt light bulbs or 10 units of 1-horsepower air-conditioning units, Lopez said.
Unni Jose Macavinta, chief executive officer and general manager of Primos de Boracay, said using solar power and other forms of renewable energy should be the direction of communities amid the environmental effects of using coal and petroleum products.
He said installing solar panels in households and commercial establishments would “empower” consumers because they would not pay generation and transmission fees.
The cost of investing in solar power systems has also gone down, Macavinta said.
“Before, it took about 10 years to recover expenses in investing in a solar power system. Now it can take from five to seven years,” he said.
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