Going big on switch to solar energy

Air Selangor started phase one of the initiative by installing solar PV panels at its Sungai Selangor water treatment plant in September. — Photos: AZMAN GHANI/The Star

Selangor’s water service provider installing largest renewable energy infrastructure in Malaysia

PENGURUSAN Air Selangor Sdn Bhd aims to generate 1,460 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of green electricity annually by 2040.

The three phases to be implemented until 2040 will involve the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) at its Water Treatment Plants (WTP).

Air Selangor’s Net Zero Energy Vision 2040 initiative is also in line with Malaysia’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who launched the initiative, said about 1,000 skilled workers will be needed in the installation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure.

“Through this effort, Air Selangor will become the first water service provider to achieve net zero status in the South-East Asian region, and also water operator with the largest renewable energy infrastructure in Malaysia,” he said at the launch at Sungai Selangor Phase 2 (SSP2) WTP in Bestari Jaya, Selangor.

Amirudin said with the initiative, Air Selangor could save on operating costs.

“Air Selangor pays up to RM12.2mil per month in energy bills to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to operate SSP1, SSP2 and SSP3 while for all the water treatment plants in the state, it pays RM32.3mil per month, equivalent to RM387.7mil per year.

“With this initiative, we can save RM600,000 a month or RM7mil a year.”

Amirudin (right) being briefed by Abas (holding pointer) after launching Air Selangor’s Net Zero Energy Vision 2040 initiative. Amirudin (right) being briefed by Abas (holding pointer) after launching Air Selangor’s Net Zero Energy Vision 2040 initiative.

Renewable energy efforts could provide a cleaner and safer supply of treated water to 9.1 million consumers, including in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, he added.

Air Selangor acting chief executive officer Abas Abdullah said by 2040, energy consumption was expected to reach 1.46 terawatt hours (TWh), a 145% increase from 2022.

“The cost of energy resources is expected to increase by RM631.5mil, up 152% from 2022.

“As such, Air Selangor has outlined and initiated a strategic framework in our roadmap to reach net zero by 2040,” said Abas.

Air Selangor has initiated the first phase by installing 9-megawatt alternating current (MWac) capacity solar PV panels at the SSP2 WTP on Sept 29.

This will be followed by the installation of 10.5MWac capacity PV panels at Sungai Selangor Phase 3 (SSP3) WTP by the end of this year.

The project for Sungai Selangor Phase 1 (SSP1) WTP with a capacity of 11.5MWac is expected to be completed by December 2024.

The second phase will commence from 2025 until 2029, focusing on maximising the use of renewable energy to 52% at SSP1, SSP2 and SSP3 WTPs.

It will also involve the utilisation of floating solar system technology and energy storage applications at the Sungai Rasau WTP.

Phase three from 2030 to 2040 will include utilising water catchment areas under Air Selangor to generate more renewable energy to be distributed to assets that have not yet achieved net zero status.

This will enable Air Selangor to achieve a 100% transition to renewable energy sources by 2040.

Amirudin also urged the Federal Government to consider giving incentives to Air Selangor and other companies that provide renewable energy.

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