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Published: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 6:42:37 AM

Sirim eyes Kudat for projects

KOTA KINABALU: A four-year study by Sirim Bhd found that the constantly sunny and windy conditions in Kudat may enable Sabah’s northernmost district to become a key site for environment-friendly power generation projects.

The Sirim study conducted since 2009 indicated that Kudat’s climate made it possible for a solar and wind hybrid farm to be developed there.

Sirim president Dr Mohd Zainal Abdin Mohd Yusuf said that wind speeds there reached up to 36kph at an altitude of 70m, making it a suitable site to generate power using large wind turbines.

He said the constantly sunny days there were ideal for solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation.

The feasibility study for Kudat saw a total capacity of 34.8kW of power generated from installations at the scenic Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, better known as the Tip of Borneo.

Of this, 25kW comes from wind turbines, while the remaining 9.8kW comes from solar PV. The electricity is being utilised by a nearby resort.

The project was launched by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Ewon Ebin yesterday.

“Sirim is now conducting studies to determine the best wind turbines and PV thin film technologies that are most appropriate for local conditions,” said Mohd Zainal.

He added that Sirim was also studying other renewable energy sources in Sabah, including biogas from the palm oil mill effluent.

Biogas could become an alternative to diesel for power generation, especially in the remote areas of Sabah that constantly experience power supply interruptions.

According to Ewon, the government welcomed any measure to harness renewable energy sources that was efficient, cost effective and required minimum maintenance.

He said that Sabah had much potential in renewable energy generation, with some 36MW of power coming from the small renewable energy programmes, and another 74MW from similar projects in the pipeline.

Ewon said some of the abundant resources of power generation included the 180MW Ulu Padas hydroelectric project, which was currently under construction.

He added that as much as 1,720MW of hydro power could be produced at 59 other undeveloped sites, while geothermal sources could add another 405MW.

Tags / Keywords: Environment, hybrid solar

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