Leading the way as an educator, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) has officially become the only university in the country to manage its own energy consumption with two Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic plants which it operates.
The latest is being the LSSPV plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, with this addition the university now holds a combined renewable energy generation capacity of 75MWac (92.58 MWp) making it now among a globally recognised varsities in public and private universities together with University of California, Stanford University and University of Queensland, that own and operate large scale solar power plants.
According to UiTM Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Prof. Datuk Ir Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim, the decision to commercially own multiple LSSPV plants is part of the university’s drive to become carbon neutral whilst at the same time generating sustainable income for the university. This new LSSPV Plant, will augment the 61MWp LSSPV plant in Gambang, Pahang which began its commercial operations in April 2019, and the planned development of 66MW of on-campus rooftop solar power generating systems which will be in full commercial operations by the end of 2022. Together, these installations will produce enough clean renewable electricity each year to equal the university’s annual electricity consumption.
“As a university, we are pursuing an ambitious plan to reduce our carbon footprint, and our second solar plant is a critical new component of that plan” said Emeritus Prof. Datuk Dr Mohd Azraai. “Sustainability is a major focus for UiTM. Moving forward in our transition to clean power builds on the collaborative work between our faculties, students and industries, and it marks a major advance in our efforts to provide a sustainable learning environment for our campus.”
The project, known as UiTM Solar Park II (USP II), which was undertaken by UiTM Holdings Sdn Bhd (UHSB) through its 100% subsidiary has successfully commenced commercial operation on 2nd December 2020. USP II, which operates on a capacity of 31 megawatts (MWp) is equipped with 92,500 solar photovoltaic panels and 160 inverters. The facility, built on 112 acres of land, is estimated to contribute towards the avoidance of 28,000 tonnes of carbon emission, generating 40,000 MWh of clean energy annually. UiTM Holdings’ second LSSPV plant costs about RM125 million.
According to Norzaimah Maarof, UHSB’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the successful commissioning of the plant was down to the hard work, expertise and experience of USPDSB’s team. It is also a reflection of the Group’s commitment and dedication in contributing to the nation’s Renewable Energy (RE) aspiration. Construction of USP II took 11 months, including the delay and suspension caused by the Movement Control Order amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. It was undertaken in collaboration with the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor, SPIC Energy Malaysia Berhad.
50MW LSS Plant, Gambang
UHSB’s first LSS project in Gambang, Pahang known as UiTM Solar Park I (USP I) with a generation capacity of 61MWp had successfully achieved commercial operation on 5th April 2019. USP I and USP II were both awarded by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water through Suruhanjaya Tenaga via LSS competitive bidding exercises.