UPM aiming for energy efficiency


THANKS to green energy, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) is looking to save over RM100mil in electricity cost over the next 25 years.

The varsity, which rakes up RM40mil yearly in electricity bills to power up its Serdang campus and teaching hospital, has embarked on a 16.18 megawatt peak energy-saving project which will see the varsity saving a total of RM114mil on its electricity bills by the time 2047 rolls in.

The Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project, is expected to be completed in October this year, said UPM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Roslan Sulaiman.

A huge chunk of the varsity’s operational expenditure goes to its electricity bill, he said.

“With fewer government grants available to help universities pay their emoluments, teaching, research and other expenses, we need to intensify our income-generating activities through collaboration with industry partners.

“UPM is taking a proactive approach by establishing a committee to study and analyse the effectiveness of the solar project implementation from financial, technical and research aspects,” he said during the renewable energy supply agreement signing ceremony with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and TNB’s wholly-owned subsidiary Gsparx Sdn Bhd on Jan 6.

Congratulating UPM, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said this is the biggest rooftop solar system installation project in a public university.

“This solar project is expected to save 50% to 60% of UPM’s electricity bill which can help the varsity sustain its finances, and allow the money saved to be used for other more important matters.

“I hope UPM’s initiative will inspire other public universities to increase their productivity and efficiency for better cost management,” she added.

Noraini’s speech was read by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Razak Jaafar.

On a separate matter, Noraini said more than 450,000 students in higher education institutions (HEIs) are aged between 18 and 20, which means they will be eligible to vote and have a say in the outcome of the next general elections, following the implementation of Undi18.

She said the ministry has a role to play in inculcating the correct understanding of the country’s political landscape among the group, which makes up about 38% of the country’s 1.2 million students in HEIs.

“Based on a study the ministry conducted to assess varsity students’ political literacy last year, we found that their appreciation of existing policies and Acts can be improved.

“The ministry is collaborating with other government departments and agencies to raise students’ awareness (of political matters) as they prepare to become voters,” she said in a statement on Jan 27.

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