Proton to reduce CO2 emissions by 11,536 tonnes yearly

At the same time, it will also generate utility cost savings of RM4.4m a year

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE national car maker, Proton Holdings Bhd, has unveiled its solar power initiative at its Tanjung Malim plant, Perak, a project that will help the national car maker reduce its CO2 emissions by 11,536 tonnes a year.

At the same time, it will also generate utility cost savings of RM4.39 million a year.

Proton will also be able to save an additional RM1.46 million a year through the three megawatts peak (MWp) generated by the factory roof mounted panels.

The parking lot bi-facial solar panel facility is the largest in Malaysia as well as for any car manufacturer in the country.

It is estimated to cover 25% of the power consumption of the plant.

It will cover a land area of 9.47ha. Proton’s motor pool car park provides parking spaces for 2,880 cars and is used as a transit point for cars produced at Tanjung Malim prior to being distributed to dealers and outlets nationwide.

With 20,544 bi-facial solar panels, which will utilise direct sunlight on top as well as reflected sunlight from the ground and cars parked underneath the panels. With a smartphone app, technicians can monitor the power generated by the facility and receive alerts when the system is not performing optimally.

Designed and commissioned by Pekat Solar Sdn Bhd and its associate MFP Solar, the parking lot solar panel facility can generate 9MWp and is the largest in Malaysia as well as for any car manufacturer in the country.

Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah said the parking lot solar panel facility is part of the company’s green initiative as the company takes up the challenge of helping Malaysia meet the government’s target of becoming a carbon neutral nation by 2050.

“Aside from generating utility savings, the use of a clean and renewable energy source will allow us to remove 11,536 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, benefitting the local community and ecosystem at Tanjung Malim.”

Pekat MD Wee Chek Aik said that they will utilise Longi Group’s low LID (light-induced degradation) cells to ensure the longevity of the panels.

“With Sungrow, China’s leading inverter brand, we are confident that our parking lot solar power plant will perform at optimum levels for many years to come,” he added.

Aside from the solar power initiative, Proton is also undertaking other initiatives to reduce its environmental impact in five phases.

Phase 1, launched last year, saw the installation of a wastewater treatment plant at its production plants. The company established energy baselines for all of its facilities, which allowed it to identify areas of improvement after two years.

Phase 2, launched this year, involves the replacement of conventional lighting with LED lights across its manufacturing and office buildings; replacing outdated chillers with magnetic refrigeration systems, and utilising a master compressor unit to synchronise compressors and match the demands of its operations.

Phase 3 is all about waste and water management by using recycled water for these things. It was used to cool down the compressor cooling tower and to add water to the hydrant water tanks at the Tanjung Malim plant.

Phase 4, which is what the Solar Power Initiative is about, is to adopt renewable energy sources.

Finally, Phase 5 aims to digitalise all of Proton’s energy data via cloud computing to introduce artificial intelligence and Big Data Analytics technology to provide real-time insights into energy consumption, predictions and prescriptive measures to reduce energy consumption across all plants and office facilities.

Over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020, these initiatives have achieved an energy bill savings of RM20 million, the equivalent of 55,000MWh and 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emission reduction.