Business & Economy

University in Bohol goes solar to cut power costs

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TAGBILARAN CITY -- Officials of Holy Name University (HNU) gathered on the rooftop of the school’s Scanlon Building on Friday, April 15, to inaugurate solar photovoltaic power plant.

“We are not only saving electric bill, but HNU is helping conserving the environment. It is equivalent to planting more than 2,000 trees,” said Fr. Vicente L. Uy, the school’s vice president for administration.

Uy said the plant would reduce HNU’s monthly bill of P700,000 by at least P100,000.

“We believe there are other (sources of) energy in the environment we could tap. Solar energy is safer and cheaper. We really contribute to the cooling of the earth,” said Fr. Francisco Estepa, HNU president.

Formerly known as Holy Name College and Divine Word College of Tagbilaran, HNU is a Catholic, private, coeducational school run by Society of the Divine Word (SVD). It offers programs in elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels and has a student population of 7,200.

The solar plant, composed of 1,100 solar thin film panels, can produce 100 kilowatts of electricity, said Rynor Jamandre, president of Orion Group International Inc.

He said concerns about pollution, environmental degradation and resource depletion had led to an increasing awareness of the importance of developing solar energy.

Founded in 1947, HNU is the first academic institution to fully integrate solar-power energy system in Bohol and the Visayas. Other universities in Manila have tapped solar energy—La Consolacion College, Manuel L. Quezon University, St. Scholastica’s College and Mapua Institute of Technology.

HNU’s solar power plant is the largest thin-film solar installation in the country, Jamandre said. Most projects, he noted, were using crystalline solar panel.

The power production can be remotely monitored from Android or iPhone devices.

Jamandre cited the many advantages of solar power.

“You save your energy bill every month; the roof will always be cooler because you have a cover of solar panels. And the most important is we save on carbon emission. It’s very important because global warming is a reality. We are doing our part to make it happen one project at a time,” he said.

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