SHAH ALAM, 7 March 2019 (Thursday) 2019: The investment arm of Univeristi Teknologi MARA (UiTM), UiTM Holdings Sdn Bhd (UHSB), via its wholly owned subsidiary, UiTM Energy & Facilities Sdn Bhd (UEFSB), has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Petroliam Nasional Berhad’s (PETRONAS) New Energy unit, to collaborate and jointly develop Large Scale Solar (LSS) Photovoltaic Power Plants and On-Campus Energy Optimization and Solar Rooftop projects.
Under the agreement, both parties aim to capitalise on each other’s strengths and experiences to jointly develop and execute renewable energy and energy optimisation projects. They will be looking at opportunities to develop Large Scale Solar (LSS) Photovoltaic Power Plants and to implement energy efficiency and optimisation programmes as well as the installation of solar generators on the rooftop of selected buildings in UiTM campuses nationwide. With over 30 campuses throughout the country, UiTM can potentially save up to 30% on its annual energy expenditure.
Present at the signing ceremony here, on 7 March 2019 were PETRONAS’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Mohamed Firouz Asnan; PETRONAS’ Head of New Energy, Dr Jay Mariyappan; Group CEO of UiTM Holdings, Norzaimah Maarof; and Vice Chancellor of UiTM, Prof Ir Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim.
“This collaboration will strengthen UiTM’s competitive advantage in the higher education sector to become a premier university of outstanding commercial growth, towards a greater sustainable future”, said the Vice Chancellor of UiTM, Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohd Azraai Kassim.
UHSB currently owns a 61 MW Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant in Gambang, Pahang, which has recently commenced operations on 8th March 2019. This plant is expected to generate over 80,000 MWh of clean energy per annum and yield RM650 million in revenue over the next 21 years. The generation of this clean energy will avoid 56,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. The plant in Gambang is currently the World’s Largest Solar PV Power Plant owned by a Public Institution of Higher Learning, and was financed by an ASEAN Green SRI Sukuk, the first in the world to be issued by a university.
The Gambang Solar Power Plant houses a state of the art Research Centre, which will be a Centre of Excellence for Innovation, Development and Commercialisation of Renewable Energy. Having access to real time and historical generation data will provide researchers invaluable insights to enable analysis and simulations, thus paving the way for discoveries on improved solar technology and breakthroughs in energy management and storage. Furthermore, the plant, sprawled over a large land area will provide an ideal test bed for land
optimization via the integration of solar technology with agriculture.
UHSB has also commenced development of its second Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The solar plant, when ready in Q1 2020, is expected to generate over 40,000 MWh of clean energy and yield RM315 million in revenue over 21 years, with the potential of avoiding 28,000 tons of carbon emission every year.
Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohd Azraai Kassim further added, “By 2020, UiTM, via the two Large Scale Solar Power Plants with a combined capacity of 92 MW will be contributing to almost 4% of Malaysia’s renewable energy production.”
Elaborating further on the collaboration between UiTM and PETRONAS, Mohamed Firouz said: “The move into clean energy is seen as crucial to securing PETRONAS’ business sustainability. It is part of the company’s ‘Step Out’ strategy into new business areas that open up with the transformation of the energy sector, and plays a role in protecting our business from future disruptions.”
In line with this, PETRONAS is already working on a number of initiatives in Malaysia which aim to help the Government meet its target for 20 per cent of the country’s electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2025. These include a solar project on the rooftop of Suria KLCC, a 10MW solar photovoltaic plant in Gebeng, Pahang, and the installation and application of solar power at PETRONAS’ buildings and assets nationwide.
“The New Energy business aims to contribute at least 1.5GW to the Malaysian Government’s renewable energy target of 6GW by 2025 and we believe that collaborations between industry and educational partners, such as UiTM, are crucial to achieve this target” added Mohamed Firouz.
The New Energy business will be a fully-fledged business unit with an initial focus on clean energy solutions which will include renewable energy, such as solar and wind, as well as hybrid solutions, including natural gas and storage that will be key to successful integration of clean energy solutions across the world.