Vivant installs solar rooftop for upscale JEG Tower

COREnergy Inc., a subsidiary of listed firm Vivant Corporation, has installed the solar rooftop facility at the 22-storey JEG Tower in Cebu, the very first high-rise commercial building in the province to embrace the technology solution for its energy needs.

The installation at the building owned by JEG Development Corporation (JDC) comprises of 37 kilowatt-peak (kWp) system, which has an anticipated generating capacity of roughly 77 megawatt-hours annually for an equivalent 30 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoidance per year.

According to JDC President Marko Sarmiento, the pioneering solar rooftop solution rolled out for the JEG Tower “is in line with our green initiatives as a LEED Gold Certified building,” noting that via the project, “other developers see how easy and affordable it is to power their own buildings with solar energy.”

Sarmiento said it is “more than what it means to be the first commercial building to provide solar energy is our contribution and commitment to the community and our environment.”

Kevin Lamela, general manager and CEO of Vivant, conveyed that the arrangement Vivant will sell energy to JEG Tower at no capital outllay for the solar PV (photovoltaic) system compared to other business lines where the transaction is "purchase system or general contracting." This the reason the company is also pushing for the other facilities nationwide.

That kind of business arrangement, wherein the upfront capital for the solar installation is initially shouldered by the service provider, is highly regarded as a defensible stimulus for end-users to take their shift into clean energy solutions.

“That’s what makes it attractive for us as developers that we don’t put any capex (capital expenditure) into the facility so it's actually COREnergy that builds the plant for us... and we’re just buying power from them at a much cheaper rate than the utility provider is charging us,” noted Tomas Tan, general manager of JDC.

In addition, he said, “Our rate (with) COREnergy is fixed for the next 20 years and it’s stable unlike the utility company which gives us fluctuating prices ... it also translates to our tenants getting a lower (rate) than what’s being charged if they’re solely relying on the utility company that provides power.”

COREnergy’s solution is widely touted as scalable, hence, it could eventually thrive as a development template for other real estate assets which will be choosing RE as their energy provider.

“While we might be the first, we anticipate that this will become the industry standard and perhaps even a requirement in the near future. So not only is this step good for business and good for the environment, anticipating future standards will keep our building relevant for a longer period of time without any need for retrofitting,” said Sarmiento.

COREnergy President Al Douglas Villaos similarly indicated that the partnership on that RE technology deployment underpins “JEG’s aspiration to be an industry leader that will help transform Cebu through sustainable real estate development.”

He said the project will immediately deliver financial benefits in terms of cost savings to JDC. As such, "Our aspiration is to replicate the same arrangement in future projects of JDC and I guess it implies that we will continue to support JDC. If there is an opportunity to deploy new solar projects for JDC, we will definitely do it,” he said.

COREnergy has also been servicing other big-ticket customers in Cebu which already opted for distributed solar facility as their energy source – and the JEG Tower is already the fifth in its portfolio.

“The project represents the continuing efforts of the organization to support the growth of Cebuano companies by helping businesses manage their operating expenses through optimized electricity costs,” the company stressed.