UP Manila takes on climate change with massive solar panel expansion to save millions, cut carbon

University of the Philippines-Manila is turbocharging its green initiative with the expansion of its solar panel system to cover 10,000 square meters across 11 academic and administrative buildings.

With the country reeling from intense weather patterns—sweltering heat from El Niño and heavy rains from La Niña, taking action to protect the environment has never been more crucial.

One institution stepping up is the University of the Philippines-Manila, expanding its solar panel coverage across its campus in the nation’s capital.

In a statement, UP-Manila announced plans to expand its solar panel system to cover a total of 10,000 square meters across 11 academic and administrative buildings.

“The heat index is the language of the sun speaking to us about the need to respond to climate concern,” said UP Manila Chancellor Michael Tee.

“We are on track to become the nation’s biggest and independent campus power producer of renewable energy,” he added.

This initiative will allow UP-Manila, the country’s premier health sciences university, to produce 1,600 Megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable power that will result in Php17 million in electricity savings every year.

The expanded solar panel system will also reduce the campus’ carbon footprint by 1,000 tons annually, equivalent to planting 177,000 trees.

UP Manila first installed 48.6 kilowatts peak (kWp) solar panels in November 2022 at the Henry Sy Sr. Medical Sciences Building, covering a 554 square meter roof area. This initial setup generated annual savings of Php650,000 in electricity charges and was equivalent to planting 6,558 trees.

The project earned UP Manila an Energy Efficiency Excellence (EEE) Award from the Department of Energy (DOE) in December 2023.