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NEWS Last modified on January 29, 2014

Solar power system installed at Kuala Lumpur International

A solar power system has been installed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport – which is expected to save it around $627,000 annually in energy costs.

Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) enlisted solar power technology manufacturer SunEdison for the project.

The 19 MW (megawatt) DC (direct current) installation, is the largest in Malaysia and combines ground-mount, parking canopy and roof-top systems to maximise electricity savings and return on investment while minimising the use of space.

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, MAHB managing director, says: "Malaysia has an ideal climate for solar power and therefore we are taking steps to generate clean energy, which will be beneficial to everyone in Malaysia.

“We are working with SunEdison to ensure our efforts produce the results we expect."

SunEdison faced a significant challenge generating the maximum return on investment for Malaysia Airports while working with the limited space available in the airport.

Their solution was to install ground-mount, parking canopy and roof-top systems on airport land that was not suitable for other revenue-generating activity.

Parking canopies combine the benefits of covered parking with the economic benefit of generating electricity at an economical and predictable price.

Utilising airport roof-top space and the land surrounding the airport allows electricity to be generated at the point of consumption, removing the need for costly transmission lines.

Tan Sri Bashir, added: “Rooftops, parking lots and 'buffer' areas at airports are traditionally not multi-purpose facilities, but we've turned them into a clean energy generation facility.

"This initiative also demonstrates our support towards the government's initiative in introducing renewable energy and also to further reduce carbon footprint."

The SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC) will provide 24/7 solar system management and monitoring services to ensure the installation continues to perform as expected over the system's lifetime.

Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison president for Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, and Australia, says: “In working with Malaysia Airports we were able to help them make money from an under-utilised asset they already had - these spaces can now be harnessed to generate clean energy.

"The energy savings, combined with the positive environmental contributions from a solar installation of this size, make this a great step forward for the airport industry and a huge benefit for the local community."

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