Baguio tapped as ‘solar capital of the Philippines’

>> Monday, June 13, 2016

BAGUIO CITY – This tourist resort may soon be the “solar capital of the Philippines” with entry of “green buses” which would tranport commuters through city streets and drastically lessen   
vehicle emissions.
Glad to be Green (G2BG) officials, led by chief executive officer Gladys Vergara, and Star 8 Solar officials, with its president and CEO Jacob Maimon, discussed with  Mayor Mauricio Domogan Tuesday the city's plans to tap solar power sources.  
Domogan cited G2BG's efforts in creating awareness and social responsibility projects that promote renewable energy use. Maimon offered his expertise and his company's technology on the matter.
He offered easy-to-pay financing schemes for public utility vehicle operators in Baguio should they decide to exchange their diesel and gas transporters to solar or electric trikes or jeepneys. 
"I can offer as low as USD$5.00 amortization for our vehicles," Maimon said.
Domogan, said he was glad initiatives like these were taking off in Baguio City. "This is a good start that will benefit the environment and the citizens of Baguio," he added.
The Green Bus is a 4-wheeled, 14-seater urban transporter with mounted solar panels that charges as it runs making use of the Sun’s power.
It has a top speed of 50 km per hour (ideal for compact cities) and could cover 120 kilometers before requiring a recharge.
It does not need gas, it makes no noise, emits no pollution, and it has no tickets because the rides will be free for everyone to enjoy.
It will be the first its kind, and the only one in existence in Baguio and the rest of Northern Luzon.
The vehicle is manufactured by Star 8 Philippines, a leading solar technology and solutions manufacturing company
If plans materialize, Star 8 Philippines and Benguet Electric Cooperative would provide parking and charging area including maintenance of vehicles.
Vehicle routes would be in and around Baguio’s central business district with designated pick-up and drop-off points: Igorot Park – Harrison Road – BCNHS - BGH Rotunda – Kisad Road – Children’s Park/ Athletic Bowl – Harrison Road – Magsaysay Avenue – Bonifacio Road – SLU Rotunda
Proposed route’s final approval will be based on consultations made with the Philippine National Police, the city government, and affected jeepney operators and drivers associations.
  “We are not here to replace or compete with existing public transport systems,” Vergara said. “The Green Bus will be operating for free because we'd like to inspire people to switch to green technology and start using solar energy to power their homes, businesses, and vehicles.”
“If anything, we are here to offer a viable alternative that creates tangible value for the community.Solar and electric vehicle technology is now economically viable for the public transport sector, they said since costs involved are significantly lower.
“ Just imagine drawing energy from a fuel source that is virtually free, and being unaffected by the volatile market prices of diesel and gasoline,” Vergara said. You might ask, but what if it’s raining? Not to worry, the solar panels of the bus relies more on photons rather than direct sunlight to create energy
 She added the Green Bus will also help in decongestion of the city center.  “With our free rides, we hope to discourage more people from bringing their cars and contributing to the already worsening Baguio traffic. We also hope to encourage people to walk to their desired destinations from our strategically placed bus stops. Less traffic while promoting good health.”


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