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Before the year’s end, Leyte’s provincial capital will switch to solar power.

The new provincial capitol complex in Leyte will soon have a solar power system installed thanks to an estimated PHP70 million investment from the provincial government.

On Tuesday, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla told reporters that the local government will soon switch to alternate, environmentally friendly energy sources rather than relying on fossil fuels.

“The project will soon be put up for bids. This will be operational within three months of being awarded. Since the return period is seven years and the investment will last 25 years, it is worthwhile, according to Petilla.

Solar panels will be put on the sidewalls of the provincial government complex that are allocated as parking spots.

The solar energy system should be able to supply the capital building with the 36,000 kilowatts of power it needs. The local government has been paying its monthly electricity bill of over PHP1 million.

Petilla thinks that by doing this, other local businesses, households, and government agencies will also be motivated to build solar energy systems.

According to us, Leyte should be 20% independent from fossil fuel plants. We want every house to be independent of the others and have its solar power system,” he continued.

Compared to the PHP14 per kWh charged by electric cooperatives, installing a solar power system will only cost PHP8 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

From 2012 to 2015, Petilla served as the nation’s energy secretary. “In the past, it was more expensive to have your solar power system at PHP25 per KWh than the electric cooperative’s PHP9 per KWh,” she added.

The rising cost of operating a power plant powered by fossil fuels has a significant impact on the high cost of energy.

The majority of the electric cooperatives in the province of Leyte receive their power from the Mariveles, Bataan-based GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. The energy source employs imported coal fuel.

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