Subic firm offers renewable energy solutions
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A Subic-registered company is now producing
cost-efficient and environment-friendly energy and lighting solutions
touted to address growing concerns of rising energy costs and degraded
BandaSolar, which traces its roots to Bandacorp PI Inc. that was
established here in 2006, is now offering Filipino consumers the
benefits of renewable energy with its solar panels and light emitting
diode (LED) lamps that could cut down power bills by more than 50
This has prompted Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman
Roberto V. Garcia to call for a study on the installation of solar
panels for all street lights in the free port and the use of 250-watt
LED lamps instead of the standard 1,000-watt halogen lamps.
Bob Silvers, president of BandaSolar, said that his company addresses
the concerns of consumers on the seemingly relentless power rate
hikes, and seeks to meet growing demand for solar solutions in the
Philippines, as well as internationally.
“The first question in the mind of Filipinos is ‘How am I going to cut
on my power bills?’ And the answer is: turn to sun and use its
energy,” Silvers said during an exhibit of products here. “Solar
energy will cut your electric bills up to half or more,” he added.
Silvers said that historically, the use of solar power was limited
only to those living in remote locations with no other choice but to
device a solar power generator with a cost equivalent to P100 per
watt, or P100,000 per kilowatt, enough to light a small house.
Having an average of a 25-year lifetime, solar panels are being sold
mostly in China, Japan, India, Australia and South Korea, which
accounted for 3.3 gigawatts of demand in 2011, with Japan and China
leading in the Southeast Asian region.
“But that was before the solar panels were in mass production in such
a volume where it became part of the energy economy competing with
more expensive petroleum and other forms of energy,” Silvers pointed
He said that, as of last year, the cost of solar panel went down to
P50 per watt or P50,000 per kilowatt, “that’s why people really can
afford solar power in place of the regular electricity generated by
the electric companies.”
Silvers said the cost of using solar power “may sound high, as the
first five years after purchasing and installing the solar panel, you
are like paying the cost of the solar panel. But after five years, the
electricity is free within the period of 20 years or more,” he added.
Industrial users also benefit a lot from solar power because by
producing some or all of the needed electricity with solar power, they
can eliminate a portion of that variable cost and insulate their
businesses against the inevitable rising cost per kilowatt hour of
electricity, Silvers said.
He explained that a company using 100 pieces of 150-watt sodium bulbs
has to pay an average of P413,870 for power consumption and
maintenance cost in 4.38 years of the bulbs’ lifetime. On the other
hand, if the same company uses 100 pieces of 100-watt LED lamps, it
will only spend P13,699 for maintenance expenses in the 13.7 years of
the lamps’ lifetime.
Silvers also said that BandaSolar is offering free consultation to
those who wish to know more about solar power, and an introduction to
a line of energy-saving devices ranging from air-conditioning system
to solar street lights, solar water heater, and even home and
industrial solar-lighting solutions.
In Subic, the company has already convinced several companies to shift
to solar power or LED lamps to save on energy costs. Its clients here
include the Ocean Adventure marine theme park; gastight plastic
storage manufacturer GrainPro; packaging manufacturer Pactec; global
testing, verification and certification firm SGS; and ink solution
provider Printing Images CtC, Inc.
BandaSolar has also installed renewable energy systems for some
residences at the Kalayaan and Binictican housing complexes here, as
well as for other clients in Pampanga, Batangas, Ilocos Sur and