Brunei school unveils major solar PV project with aims of reducing carbon footprint and promote renewable energy usage

Drone photo of the Solar Panels across the Lecure Theatre, e Learning Centre and Q Block. - PHOTO: JIS via Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): The Jerudong International School (JIS) on Tuesday became Brunei’s first school to undertake a major solar installation and integrate a comprehensive solar energy system, according to a press release.

The school installed over 600 solar panels, expected to produce nearly 600,000 KWh of energy annually. This initiative aims to significantly reduce the carbon footprint and promote renewable energy usage within the JIS campus community.

The solar panels are strategically placed on the roofs of several key buildings: 99 panels on the eLearning Centre (eLC), 88 panels on the lecture theatre (LEC), 88 panels on the D&T Block (Q Block), and 336 panels on the Sports Complex.

With the support of Berakas Power Company Sdn Bhd and Serikandi Group of Companies, the school is utilising a highly efficient solar PV system with an expected lifespan of 25 years, ensuring long-term benefits for the school.

The launch ceremony, held at the JIS Arts Centre during the school’s Earth Week, began with opening remarks by Principal Nicholas Sheehan and a presentation by JIS students showcasing various green initiatives around the school.

The ceremony featured insightful speeches from prominent figures in the energy sector. Executive Director and Group Chief Strategy Officer of Solarvest Holdings Bhd Leon Liew Chee Ing discussed energy innovation and economics towards a greener world.

Drone photo of the Solar Panels on top of the Sports Complex.- PHOTO: JIS via Borneo Bulletin/ANNDrone photo of the Solar Panels on top of the Sports Complex.- PHOTO: JIS via Borneo Bulletin/ANN

Head of the Energy Transition Division at the Prime Minister’s Office Shirley Sikun highlighted energy efficiency and conservation, while Technical Director of Serikandi Group of Companies Dato Paduka Awang Jamain Julaihi explored the prospects of solar energy and career options in Brunei.

Supported by the Ministry of Education (MoE), around 100 students from local schools were invited to attend the event, encouraging a passion for sustainability and innovation among the younger generation.

JIS said that the Solar PV Project was initiated in the JIS Academic Year 2021-2022, with a formal contract starting in 2023. This aligns with Brunei’s recent increase in renewable energy efforts. During the Energy Seminar in July 2023, it was stated that Brunei aims to advance its national solar energy target to 200 megawatts by 2025, with solar power comprising at least 30 per cent of the overall power generation mix by 2035.

To keep the school community engaged and informed, JIS will display a public user interface on screens around the school, providing daily data on the performance of the solar PV panels. This information includes the amount of energy conserved, power produced, and CO2 emissions reduced. Additionally, the screens will present various equivalency metrics, such as the amount of coal saved in tonnes, the number of lightbulbs saved, and the number of trees needed to absorb the same amount of CO2.

JIS said it is also proud to hold the Global Eco Schools Green Flag Award for its outstanding environmental initiatives. These include the Outdoor Discovery Centre (ODC), a 10,000m² space being reforested on campus, the creation of rainwater harvesting tanks across campus, and a paper recycling initiative in collaboration with EnEvo Sdn Bhd.

“This latest initiative underscores the school’s commitment to educating students on adopting more sustainable practices by modeling environmentally friendly behavior and leading by example,” the school added in the press release.

“As schools worldwide increasingly prioritise sustainability, we aim to stand as a beacon of environmental leadership, advocating for eco-friendly practices on campus and beyond,” said Principal Nicholas Sheehan. “Protecting our planet is a global issue that affects us all. There is too much at stake if we don’t start taking action through environmental initiatives now.” - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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