UiTM the one and only public university to operate big solar plants

UNIVERSITI Teknologi MARA (UiTM) has become the only university in the country to own and operate two Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic (LSSPV) plants with the successful commencement of commercial operations of its second LSSPV plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

The university now holds a combined renewable energy generation capacity of 75MWac (megawatt of alternating current) (92.58 MWp [megawatt peak]).

With this increased capacity, UiTM is now stands tall among globally renowned public and private universities such as University of California, Stanford University and University of Queensland which own and operate large scale solar power plants.

According to UiTM vice-chancellor, Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim, the decision to commercially own multiple LSSPV plants is part of the university’s drive to become carbon neutral while 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 end-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, hence our second solar plant is a critical new component of that plan” Mohd Azraai pointed out. “Sustainability is a major focus for UiTM.”

Undertaken by UiTM Holdings Sdn Bhd (UHSB) through its 100% subsidiary UiTM Solar Power Dua Sdn Bhd (USPDSB), the UiTM Solar Park II (USP II) commenced commercial operation on Dec 2 last year.

Operating on a capacity of 31 MWp, USP II is equipped with 92,500 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and 160 inverters.

The RM125 mil facility which is built on a land size of 112 acres is estimated to contribute towards the avoidance of 28,000 tonnes of carbon emission, generating 40,000 MWh of clean energy annually.

According to UHSB’s group CEO Norzaimah Maarof, construction of USP II took 11 months, including the delay and suspension caused by the movement control order (MCO) amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It was undertaken in collaboration with the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor, SPIC Energy Malaysia Bhd,” she noted. – Jan 8, 2021

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