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La Carlota goes green

Nowadays, a lot more people are finding means to save money by reducing expenses on electricity.

From solar floodlights that can light up gardens, garages, and streets to large solar panels that can illuminate high-rise structures.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more households and commercial establishments are adapting to solar technology.

Even the local government of La Carlota City is taking a leap forward by installing a P2 million solar panel on the sprawling rooftop of the city gym.

The 25-kilowatt peak grid-tie system can power up to two Regional Trial Court branches and its offices being housed inside the gym.

Mayor Rex Jalandoon believes the investment can lessen electrical expenses in the next four years and can even generate additional income for the city.

The city pays more than P52,000 for the electricity registered by the gym meter alone, “in this meter we can save more P22,000 a month,” the mayor projected.

With the grid-tie connection, the city can sell out excess power generated during weekends at P6-7 per kWh to the local power distributor.

“We are paying less and we can even sell during weekends,” Jalandoon said.

The solar setup comes with a cost, but Paul Dingcong, a local entrepreneur who specializes in solar panel installation, claims that the gains from using electrical power sourced from the sun are economical and environmentally beneficial.

With an expected minimum capacity generation at 100,000 watts per day, it can power 100 households with 1,000 watts daily consumption.

Since the city is using a grid-tie connection, dry cell batteries that are suitable for off-grid set-up, are no longer needed.

“The downside of the off-grid system is that you are using batteries which are costly, batteries alone would cover 40 to 50 percent of the cost, while in the grid-tie system, you can’t utilize it during a brownout. But with the pandemic or without it, the demand and awareness for renewable energy is growing due to the high cost of electricity,” Dingcong explained.

The city is also one of the LGUs in the country that benefitted from the electric trikes awarded by the Department of Energy.

Having an IslaSol, a solar power plant within the city, Jalandoon is bent on making La Carlota a green city.

“The solar installation will last for more than 25 years, so more or less I’ll have 20 years free. Still, I intend to invest more,” Jalandoon added.

The city mayor looks forward to replicating the solar installation set-up in the markets and other LGU establishments as he urges his fellow local chief executives to adapt to renewable energy.

Unless they want to spend more from their coffers.*

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