Silliman at 115 taps solar power

The 115th year of Silliman University now marking its anniversary week is highlighted among others, with the switch to renewable form of energy by going solar power. Phase I has just been switched-on this week.

However, electric power from the old NORECO 2 will still service most of the university power needs even as SU has its own generating plant in cases of emergency.

The first 60 kilowatts of solar power is now generating energy for Silliman University (SU), specifically to supply the Luce Auditorium after the simple switch on ceremony Tuesday morning, as one of the features of its 115th Founders Day anniversary August 21 -28.

Once completed this year another 150-kilowatt solar power panels, will mean saving 500,000 kilograms of coal usage for the year, 30,000 trees to absorb what could be its carbon dioxide emissions.

The switch-on was attended by SU President Dr. Ben Malayang III, Board of Trustees (BOT) member Grace Sumalpong, former SU President Dr. Angel Alcala and Raynor G. Jamandre, President of First Solar Orion Energy Solutions who provided for the materials for free to the university.

Next to be energized is the 90-kilowatt solar power installed at the rooftop of the Silliman library, and to 13 other buildings of the university before the year ends.

In a year’s time, the whole system will generate for Silliman about 1.68 million kilowatt hours.

Looking the numbers, it is a significant note that we look at the contribution of Silliman university now celebrating its 115th year, in chrstian hgher education and in the preservation of the environment. The Silliman solar power project will be saving 500,000 kilograms of coal per year. Such emission would have needed about 30,000 trees to sequester the carbon dioxide from the air.

In walking its talk, Silliman university is in a way telling the people by example that renewable energy is the way to go.

Silliman Pres. Ben Malayang said it has partnered with Solar Orion to send a message that Silliman will continue to utilize whatever means if only to show the way on how the university could take care of the environment and eventually the people because of their commitment to use renewable forms of energy in Silliman university.

We look at this project as SILLIMANS modest way of walking the talk for Silliman University’s environment program.

Finally, Silliman will still need electricity from the grid through the electric cooperative for its baseload requirement. Which is much bigger than its solar capability for the moment.

Any reduction in the cost of power, in any university fo that matter , will lessen the pressure for higher tuition and other fees among students while at the same time improving the ability to provide benefits for its faculty and staff, the university president quipped.

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