Malaysian Installer Offers Community Free Solar PV System
A freely donated solar power system will soon boost Malaysia's renewable energy sector and encourage the use of Feed-In Tariffs. Photo Credit: h080 via Flickr
In a display of well-planned corporate social responsibility, Malaysian sustainable construction firm Green Eco Builder has offered a free solar power setup to a community building.
Applications closed in mid-August for a clever corporate social responsibility initiative in which a large solar panel system will be installed for free atop a community building in Malaysia.
The installation company is Malaysian sustainable construction firm Green Eco Builder, and the offer is a generous one. Whichever school, care center (orphanage, retirement home, etc.) or place of worship is selected for the opportunity will have a 12kWp Solar PV System worth RM85,000 (US$20,000) installed on its premises. The power that system generates will be sold back to the government and for all 21 years of the installation’s expected lifespan, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the community.
A 12kWp (kilowatt peak) solar system is no backyard project – a system of this capacity requires 1,000 square feet and would dominate the roof space of most modern homes. It’s also expected to generate between RM3,000 and 5,000 (US$700 – $1,100) per year by being sold back to the government through a Feed-in Tariff program. For the first 10 years, 20% of this will go directly to the community housing the system, and for the next 11 years, 50% of proceeds will be donated.
This amount of money makes a big difference in a Malaysian community, but almost more important is the exposure this project gives to solar power and Malaysia’s Feed-in Tariff system. Governments around the world have Feed-in Tariff systems in which businesses or individuals can sell power back to “the grid,” or the systems that power cities. If Feed-in Tariffs are widely accepted and recognized as a source of passive income, renewable energy stands a much better chance of taking off and divesting countries like Malaysia from their dependence on fossil fuels.
Green Eco Builders’ project is thus a two-pronged approach to sustainability – supporting community health through donation, and supporting the important growth of renewable energy through exposure and education. Considering Malaysia’s dire need to improve environmental performance, and the world’s need to combat climate change, this program is to be applauded.