One of the world’s biggest makers of solar panels will work to power rural schools and villages in Malaysia. China-based Wuxi Suntech will put in photovoltaic (PV) panels that will generate 7.5 MW of power under the Rural Solar Hybrid Electricity Project for Villages and Schools in the Interior.
The project was launched recently and is set to be completed in several phases and continue into 2017. The first phase will provide 960 kW to power three schools – SK Nanga Metah, SK Nanga Janan and SK Sungai Tunoh – as well as to 20 surrounding villages. The subsequent rollout of the project will reach a total of 7.5 MW of electricity to additional rural schools and villages.
The PV modules will form a micro-grid system set to provide 24 hour electricity to three schools and 20 surrounding villages. The system will consist of Suntech’s high-efficiency, VDE Quality Tested modules.
“We have been working diligently with our partners Helios Photovoltaics and the Malaysian government for several years to launch this revolutionary project. We’re using diesel generators and German battery packs to backup Suntech’s best in class PV Modules in this system. Many locations in the region are only accessible via boat or helicopter and have previously been left to rely on diesel generation for power. These new micro-grid systems will help to significantly reduce diesel costs and cut 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, providing clean, reliable energy for the schools and villages in Sarawak. We are extremely proud of our work with Helios and the Malaysian Government that has enabled us to bring this project to fruition,” said Samuel Zhang, sales director for APMEA & China at Suntech.
Suntech officials say the company’s recent acquisition by Hong Kong-based Shunfeng Photovoltaics Ltd. has helped its balance sheet and allows it to pursue a a new business strategy that will make it the largest integrated clean energy provider globally.