Kuala Lumpur International Installs First Airport Solar System

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The new solar power installation at Kuala LumpurInternational Airport is expected to save the airport approximately2.1 million RM(U.S. $627,000) annuall...

The new solar power installation at Kuala Lumpur International Airport is expected to save the airport approximately 2.1 million RM (U.S. $627,000) annually based on current energy costs.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the operator and manager of Malaysia's 39 airports, and SunEdison, a solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, recently announced the launch of Malaysia's first airport solar power system at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The 19 megawatt direct current installation — the largest in Malaysia as of interconnection — combines ground-mount, parking canopy and roof-top systems to maximize electricity savings and return on investment while minimizing the use of space. 

“Malaysia has an ideal climate for solar power and therefore we are taking steps to generate clean energy which will be beneficial to everyone in Malaysia,” said Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Malaysia Airports’ managing director. “We are working with SunEdison to ensure our efforts produce the results we expect.”

SunEdison faced a significant challenge — generating the maximum return on investment for Malaysia Airports while working with the limited space available in the airport.  The solution was to install ground-mount, parking canopy and roof-top systems on airport land that was not suitable for other revenue-generating activity. Utilizing airport roof-top space and the land surrounding the airport allows electricity to be generated at the point of consumption, removing the need for expensive transmission lines.

“Rooftops, parking lots and ‘buffer’ areas at airports are traditionally not multi-purpose facilities, but we've turned them into a clean energy generation facility,” said Tan Sri Bashir. “This initiative also demonstrates our support towards the Government's initiative in introducing renewable energy and also to further reduce carbon footprint.”

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