Solar power for sewage treatment

Solar photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity, thus enabling savings in operating costs and reducing carbon footprint. — Filepic

National sewage company Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) has adopted solar initiatives aimed at driving renewable energy generation at its treatment sites.

The company is looking to not only optimise its operating costs but also align its efforts with the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) in reducing carbon emissions by 2040.

Throughout peninsular Malaysia, 396 of the company’s sewerage treatment plants (STP) have been identified as feasible and commercially viable for the installation of solar photovoltaics (PVs) under Phase 1.

Upon successful implementation, IWK will be able to generate 22,781 megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy per year, reflecting an annual total savings on electricity of RM1.9mil by 2026.

The company signed Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements with four proponents to undertake the project in several packages, with a total capital expenditure of RM84mil to be invested by these four proponents for the 396 site installations.

In addition, a Phase 2 implementation of another 583 sites is undergoing a detailed evaluation, which can potentially generate 21,500MWh of solar energy per year, contributing additional annual savings of RM1.8mil by 2027.

Nik Nazmi praising IWK’s dedication to sustainable development, during a working visit to its Pantai 1 Sewage Treatment Plant in Kuala Lumpur.Nik Nazmi praising IWK’s dedication to sustainable development, during a working visit to its Pantai 1 Sewage Treatment Plant in Kuala Lumpur.

Upon completion of Phases 1 and 2, IWK expects to reduce 34.4 kilotonne carbon dioxide equivalent (ktCO2e) of carbon emissions by 2027.

The solar PV project initiative will operate under the Self-Consumption (SelCo) model, where all solar energy generated will be utilised at IWK’s respective STPs.

Detailed evaluations were conducted across 8,874 STPs and network power stations to determine the viability of installing the solar PVs.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said: “It is exciting to witness firsthand one of the solar energy generation sites used by IWK for its plant operations.

“This initiative taken by IWK is a great example of a company’s dedication to promoting sustainable development, aligning seamlessly and contributing towards the implementation of NETR,” he said during a working visit to IWK’s Pantai 1 STP in Kuala Lumpur.

IWK chief executive officer Narendran Maniam said IWK remained committed to environmental sustainability.

“We are adopting various green technologies at selected STPs, such as by installing solar PVs, as well as reusing our biogas byproduct generated from our treatment processes to power our plants.”

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