The Penang Development Corporation (PDC), a state government agency, has set forth plans to expand its presence in the renewable energy (RE) sector, specifically focusing on solar energy, with the intention of making it one of its core businesses in the future.
According to Datuk Aziz Bakar, the Chief Executive Officer of PDC, this move aligns with the state’s vision of transitioning to a green economy and the country’s goal of having RE account for 70% of its electricity generation by 2050.
“We expect a substantial rise in investments in renewable energy (RE), and Penang’s advantageous position as the home to numerous multinational corporations in the manufacturing sector positions it to play a crucial role in driving this development forward,” he said during the launch of the PDC Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System, also attended by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
PDC’s initial solar energy project was carried out in collaboration with Solarvest Holdings Bhd, which handled the consultation, design, engineering, procurement, project management, and construction aspects. PDC has invested RM12 million to install the solar PV system at Marelli Automotive Lighting Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s factory in Batu Kawan.
Aziz revealed that they signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Marelli Automotive Lighting Malaysia, an Italian automotive component manufacturer, in February 2023, and construction commenced the following month.
Upon project completion, PDC will take charge of owning, operating, and maintaining the 3,149.56 kW solar PV system on behalf of Marelli.
“PDC and Marelli have maintained a long-standing partnership since the year 2013, with Marelli leasing the land and building from PDC for a period of 20 years. Our subsidiary company, Solar Voltech Sdn Bhd, will provide outstanding solar system solutions,” Aziz added.
He further disclosed that in the near future, two additional projects with Solarvest are in the pipeline to implement the solar PV system at other factories in Penang.
The solar power system was developed through Solarvest’s solar financing program, Powervest, which allows businesses to adopt clean energy without any upfront capital expenditure.
The system is projected to generate 4.4 gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually, enabling Marelli to offset 2,410 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and achieve approximately 20-30% in electricity bill savings.