By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 28, 2014 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The first solar-powered subdivision in the Philippines will soon rise in Santo Tomas, Batangas, a development that bodes well for the environment and puts the country a step closer to its goal of promoting renewable energy
Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC), a local property developer, has partnered with Enfinity Group, a Belgian solar power provider, for the development of the solar-powered mass housing community of 1,000 homes in Santo Tomas, the first of its kind in the Philippines.
IHC chairman and CEO Emma Imperial, said the company would launch the project in January 2015.
The project aims to alleviate the country’s backlog on mass housing currently pegged at three million as well as provide a greener solution against the worsening effects of climate change, she said.
“Equipped with 500 watts solar solutions, these solar-powered homes will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and provide a greener environment for our low-cost housing projects,” Imperial said.
The solar-powered mass housing project, named Via Verde, is located over a three hectare property with a combination of row houses and two-bedroom townhouses.
The 500-watt solar panels are installed in every unit for free to allow buyers to enjoy lower electricity rates through the lease-back program of Enfinity.
Also lending support to the project is the CBL Group, a United Kingdom-registered and China-based company, which provides green panels for pre-fab and modular housing.
Imperial said for its future projects, the goal is to build solar-powered mass housing communities.
Established 31 years ago, IHC is primarily engaged in the development of modern leisure villages as well as middle and low-cost housing projects,
For the Via Verde project, the company earmarked P600 million for the housing component of the mass housing community.
For the solar panels, the Enfinity Group will invest $1 million for solar facilities in 1,000 homes.
Imperial said IHC’s project is anchored on the Transformational Business Model presented by Imperial during the World Bank Housing Conference in May 2014 in Washington, DC in the US.
“We also expect to receive the World Bank’s EDGE Certificate for Green Building anytime soon,” Imperial said.
The company is also working with other property developers to encourage the incorporation of renewable features in their homes.