PUTRAJAYA: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) will be the first higher learning institution in the world to develop a 50MW large scale solar photovoltaic plant in Gambang, Pahang, once it is completed.
The project, which is currently being constructed, is part of efforts to fulfill the national aspiration of promoting Malaysia’s Green Technology, accelerate the country’s economy and boost sustainable development.
Spearheaded by UiTM Solar Power Sdn Bhd, the plant is expected to be in commercial operation by November.
UiTM Board of Directors chairman Tan Sri Ir Dr Ahmad Zaidee Laidin said the 1.17 sq m solar power plant will cost RM278 million.
“It is expected to generate over RM650 million in revenue to UiTM over the next 21 years.
“Once it is operational, UiTM will be the first university in Malaysia to own and commercially operate a solar power plant,” he said at a press conference here.
Also present was Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad chairman General (R) Tan Sri Yaacob Mohd Zain.
To finance the construction of the plant, UiTM has injected about RM56 million equity into the project. The remaining 80 per cent will be financed through the issuance of RM222 million Green Sri Sukuk, the first in the world to be issued by the university.
Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, which is in charge, is manager of Green Sri Sukuk, and has been instrumental in implementing the Green Sri Sukuk including assisting UiTM Solar Power Sdn Bhd to achieve financial assistance for the project and the upcoming issuance of the Green Sri Sukuk.
The plant will have over 180 thousand power panels, enough to generate over 80,000 MWh of clean energy per annum and to power more than 22,000 homes.
The revenue generation of the solar power plant will come from the sale of clean energy to Tenaga Nasional Berhad via a 21-year power purchase agreement, signed in March last year at a tariff of RM0.4018 per kWh.
Ahmad Zaidee added that the plant would also house an art solar research centre, which will be Centre of Excellence for Innovation, Development and Commercialisation of Renewable Energy. This was in line with UiTM’s vision to become one of the nation’s leading research universities.
The research centre will be the first of its kind in the world to sit on the same site of a large scale commercial solar power plant and will be an advantage for UiTM in comparison with other global universities due to the sheer size of the solar plant.