PROTON is using solar power at its Tanjung Malim plant to reduce its CO2 emissions as well as electricity cost. This solar initiative will help the national car maker reduce its CO2 emissions by 11,536 tonnes a year, besides saving on electricity bill.
The solar panels are installed on its factory roof as well as parking lot and generate a total of 12 MWp (megawatt peak). This is sufficient to meet about 25% of the plant’s power needs. Further, the bifacial solar panels used in the parking lot is currently Malaysia’s largest facility.
The parking lot is covered by 20,544 bifacial panels to generate electricity as well as provide parked cars with protection from the elements. Covering a land area of 23.4 acres, 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 distribution to dealers and outlets nationwide. Bifacial solar panels are capable of generating energy from the top via direct sunlight, as well as from the ground via reflection.
The parking lot solar panels are built and commissioned by Pekat Group and its associate MFP Solar. This facility can generate 9 MWp and is the largest in Malaysia as well as for any car manufacturer in the country. This also allows PROTON to potentially save up to RM4.39 million a year on its energy bill. Further savings of up to RM1.46 million come from the 3 MWp generated by the factory roof-mounted panels.
“PROTON’s solar panel facility is part of the company’s green initiative as the company takes up the challenge to help 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,” said Roslan Abdullah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.
PROTON started the initiative to reduce its carbon footprint in 2015 when it launched its PROTON Green Wheel and Green Policy. Phase 1 of 5 started with the implementation of an Energy Management System in its production plants and head office to collect and measure usage data. After 2 years of data collection and analysis, PROTON was able to establish energy baselines for its plants and offices, which provided insight into areas to further reduce energy consumption.
Subsequent phases involved energy efficiency measures, water and waste management, and adoption of renewable energy sources. The company had, for example, converted to LED lighting, magnetic chillers, master compressor usage, recycling of water for cooling towers and hydrants, as well as increased use of solar energy.
Phase 5 would be to digitise all of PROTON’s energy data on a cloud server and introduce AI and Big Data Analytics technology to provide the company’s energy managers with energy consumption predictions and prescriptive measures to reduce energy consumption across all plants and office facilities.
Over the 5-year period (2015 – 2020), PROTON was able to save RM20 million in energy cost as a result of these initiatives. This is equivalent to 55,000 MWh savings and over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced.