By Angela Casco

As individuals are becoming more conscious and wiser about what and how they consume and live, establishments like hotels, malls, and resorts are turning to tweaking the design of their buildings to carry out green practices that won’t hurt the environment anymore, whether that’s putting up their own water treatment facility or growing their own organic vegetables in an urban garden.

Image 4 - Designed for Sustainability: City of Dreams Manila turns parking building into solar power facility

Taking part in this same effort is City of Dreams (COD) Manila through its new 1.2-megawatt solar power facility, an initiative in partnership with Meralco’s renewable energy subsidiary, Spectrum, and global professional services company, GHD.

This makes COD the first integrated resort in the country to harness solar energy for its operations.

The facility is composed of a total of 3,120 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels blanketing the topmost level of COD’s parking building. These panels convert light into electricity using semiconducting materials and have guaranteed generating capacity of almost 2,000 megawatt hour per year. That’s equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of more than 7,000 typical households.

Image 2 1 - Designed for Sustainability: City of Dreams Manila turns parking building into solar power facility

SUSTAINABLE START From left: Parañaque City Vice Mayor Jose Enrico Golez, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez; City of Dreams Manila SVP and COO Kevin Benning, Energy Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas; Senator Cynthia Villar; Spectrum president and CEO Victor Genuino; and GHD Group technical director Paul Whatnell

Through this solar solution—often considered the best form of renewable energy as it creates no waste or emissions—the integrated resort will be able to operate using 20 percent solar energy, which will also reduce its carbon emissions by 1,000 tons. That’s the same amount of carbon dioxide 270 passenger cars (annually) release.

This is only the latest of many projects at COD aiming to lower environmental impact, as part of its long-term “Sustainable Dreams” program: a vermicomposting facility and greenhouse nursery; a holistic and sustainable coffee program for which it partners with local coffee farmers through the Philippine Coffee Board Inc.; eliminating waste by using coffee remains for vermicomposting; and recycling of used coffee capsules with Nespresso.

In collaboration with ABS-CBN Foundation, COD is also repurposing used oils with the Bantay Langis program, recycling of used batteries via the Bantay Baterya initiative, and an electronic waste recovery project.

“[The solar power facility] is a significant step in our vision to be sustainable in our operations,” says Kevin Benning, COD’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “Utilizing clean and renewable energy is only one of our numerous green initiatives and we hope that as we set the bar for sustainable operations, we also inspire
positive change as we all take part in the growing movement toward a more sustainable future.”

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