Proton has long committed itself to reducing its carbon footprint in its entire production change, evident from the launch of its five-phase Proton Green Wheel and Green Policy back in 2015.
They’ve now kick-started phase four of the project by unveiling its new solar power initiative at the Tanjung Malim plant, which will help the national carmaker reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 11,536 tonnes a year, while also generating extra utility cost savings.
The solar project consists of a 23.4 acre-sized covered parking lot, equipped with 20,544 bi-facial solar panels, alongside extra solar panels mounted on its factory rooftop. Combined, the solar power initiative can generate up to 12 MWp (Megawatt peak), which is enough to meet up to 25% of the plant’s total power consumption.
The covered parking lot, which serves as Proton’s motor pool car park, will provide parking spaces for 2,880 cars, and is used as a transit point for cars produced at Tanjung Malim before being distributed to dealers and outlets nationwide. And if you’re a fan of weird and obscure facts, Proton says that it now has the biggest parking lot bi-facial solar panel facility in Malaysia!
In case you’re wondering, bi-facial means the panels can also pick up reflected sunlight from the ground as well as cars parked underneath the panels, significantly increasing the efficiency of the panels by area covered. The panels also provide shaded car storage, to help protect the newly produced cars from the elements.
Built and commissioned by Pekat Group and its associate MFP Solar, the parking lot solar panel facility can generate up to 9MWp by itself, which means Proton could potentially save up to RM4.39 million a year on its energy bill, with a further saving of RM1.46 million available via the 3MWp 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,” said Proton Deputy CEO, Roslan Abdullah.
“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,” he added.
Following the new solar energy facility, Proton is aiming to digitise all of its energy data on the cloud in phase five, using AI and Big Data Analytics technology to provide the company’s energy managers with energy consumption predictions and prescriptive measures, helping to reduce energy consumption across all plants and office facilities.
Proton says that across the five-year period between 2015 and 2020, its green initiatives have achieved an energy bill savings of RM20 million, or equivalent to 55,000 MWh in savings and over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions reduction.