Joint venture firm Filinvest-ENGIE Renewable Energy Enterprise Inc. (FREE) has completed its first 2.8-megawatt peak (MWp) solar rooftop installation at the Filinvest Land Inc.’s Festival Mall in Alabang.
FREE is a partnership between FDC Utilities Inc. (FDCUI), which is the energy investment arm of the Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corporation, and ENGIE Services Philippines, a subsidiary of French multinational utility company Engie SA.
The Festival Mall solar rooftop installation is a pioneering project of FREE. This was underpinned by a 20-year solar power purchase agreement with property owner Filinvest Land Inc.
Equipped with 5,303 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, the energy solution embraced by Festival Mall will supply it with at least 28-percent of its peak electricity demand.
The other core socio-economic benefits that could be yielded by the solar venture would be carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoidance hovering at 41,000 tons or the equivalent of 9,000 cars being taken off from Metro Manila thoroughfares.
According to the JV company, Festival Mall will greatly reap benefits “from the project’s build, own, operate and transfer model because it requires no upfront capital expenditure.”
The solar project developer-firm qualified that “FREE invests solely and recovers the cost through an electricity tariff paid by Festival Mall over the course of the contract.”
As emphasized by FREE President and CEO Juan Eugenio L. Roxas, “ENGIE is the right partner to provide cutting-edge solutions at scale and to deliver innovative clean solutions.”
He stressed “this partnership is a testament to how we can shape and help accelerate the Philippines’ effort in mitigating global warming.”
Roxas further conveyed “our strategic alliance with ENGIE has established past track records of success and proven end-to-end low carbon expertise,” hence, he expressed confidence that “together, we can push forward the frontiers on the energy transition and meet our ambitious goals.”
On the part of the French partner, Thomas Baudlot, CEO of ENGIE’s Energy Solutions APAC and Country Head Southeast Asia, noted that by partnering with Filinvest, their company is taking on an opportunity “to play a pivotal role in helping the country grow its economy sustainably and to contribute to building the momentum on climate action and decarbonization.”
Joey F. Santos, senior vice president for mixed-use/HRB and retail of Filinvest, highlighted that “sustainability and protecting the environment are part of the core values of Filinvest Land.”
He explained that “this solar power project, apart from the benefit of reducing our power costs at Festival Mall, more importantly, allows us to reduce carbon footprint,” with him citing that their choice of energy source “will only be the first of many sustainability initiatives that we will be undertaking at Lifemalls by Filinvest.”
Santos added “we believe that the solutions jointly developed on FDC’s assets will provide a competitive environmental, social and governance edge for the company and help improve social outcomes for communities.”