Intel Malaysia runs largest solar farm outside of US

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic source: Intel

SEMICONDUCTOR manufacturer Intel Corp has announced that its operations in Malaysia will harness solar energy to power its six buildings in Kulim and Penang campuses, making it the firm’s largest solar farm outside of the US.

Intel said in a statement that its new solar farm panels in the country cover an area roughly equivalent to 900 car park spaces and an additional 50,208 sq ft (4,664 sq m) on buildings’ rooftops, generating some 600MWh of electricity annually.

It added that the campus buildings’ electricity demand during peak hours is replaced partially by solar sources.

“The energy supply from solar sources also helps diversify and introduce renewable energy (RE) mix into the campus energy supply mix, which was predominantly powered by natural gas and coal sources,” the firm added.

The solar farm will be aided by a new 3.2MW solar installation which was completed in January 2021.

The project is expected to achieve 4.1MW in total installed capacity, provided by NEFIN, an RE developer.

Intel Malaysia MD Robin Martin — who is also its corporate VP and GM of Assembly Test Manufacturing — said despite the construction in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the project still went ahead and swung into operations this year.

“The completion of this project contributes about 15% of Intel’s global, on-site photovoltaic electric power capacity, and will also reduce CO2 emissions by about 3,800 tonnes,” he said.

According to Martin, Intel’s continuous investments in alternative energy are a key pillar of the brand’s continued commitment to operating its manufacturing facilities with the lowest impact to the environment.

“The use of renewable power generated on-site at Intel Malaysia is a critical part of Intel’s efforts as a responsible corporate citizen to do better for our planet, and as part of our RISE 2030 goals of achieving 100% renewable power,” Martin said.

Meanwhile, Intel said it will continue to reaffirm its commitment to conserving energy and expanding on its RE projects and energy-efficient technologies in technology design and operations to combat climate change.

“Intel has already deployed several solar thermal systems for the supply of domestic hot water to all its campuses in Malaysia to eliminate its dependence on conventional fuel sources, and will continue the expansion of clean and green energy sources to reduce emissions,” it said.