KUCHING, Oct 21 ― A total of 43 rural schools in Sarawak have been equipped with hybrid solar systems.
This is a government project under the Sarawak Rural Schools Hybrid Solar Project.
A recent project handover ceremony was held for four packages involving seven districts in Sarawak.
The handover ceremony took place at one of the schools in this project, SMK Baleh, in the Kapit district.
The handover ceremony was officiated by Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) Deputy Chief Secretary (Education), Mohamed Abdul Rahman; and witnessed by Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) Senior Director of the Electrical Engineering Division, Hanizan Saffii; and Senior Director of the Specialist Services of Electrical Engineering Division, Noor Ashikin Md Tamimi.
Also present was JKR Senior Chief Architect of the Education Works Division, Haslina Sumairi, representing their manager.
The four companies appointed as contractors to carry out the four packages are Service Master Sdn Bhd (Package 3), Land Base (Kok) Sdn Bhd (Package 4), Layun Enterprise Sdn Bhd (Package 7), and Tuchong Naning Sdn Bhd (Package 9).
The main objective of installing these solar systems is to ensure a 24-hour electricity supply that is environmentally friendly with more efficient and cost-effective operations.
“This project is one of the government’s initiatives to provide electrical facilities for a more conducive teaching and learning process for students in rural schools in the state of Sarawak,” said Mohamed during the project handover.
He also expressed gratitude for the implementation of this project in ensuring the sustainability of development in remote areas, which will greatly benefit students and educators.
Since 2010, these schools have been using diesel generators as the main source of electrical power due to the difficulty of accessing the grid due to their remote and inland locations.
In 2020, the government, through JKR, implemented solar panels for electricity generation and energy storage using the latest lithium and sodium-based technology for more efficient and effective use.
“The total capacity of the hybrid solar system installed in 43 rural schools in the state of Sarawak is 1.3 MW, which will help reduce operation and maintenance costs from RM22 million per year to just RM6 million,” said Hanizan.
JKR developed the hybrid solar system, where the solar panels function to generate electricity from sunlight and the energy storage system uses the latest lithium and sodium-based technology.
Meanwhile, the multi-purpose structural space is intended to ensure more effective space utilisation that can be used by the schools.
The project team faced challenges during the construction phase due to the remote location of schools and the need for off-road and water transportation. ― Borneo Post