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Brunei bags ASEAN energy award

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

BRUNEI bagged second place in the ASEAN Energy Awards’ Renewable Energy Project: Off-Grid category.

The awards were presented during a gala dinner held in conjunction with the 33rd ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), in collaboration with the Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) and the Brunei National Energy Research Institute (BNERI), won second place for the project titled “10 kilowatt peak (kWp) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System at Balai Ibadat Kampong Sukang”.

The EDPMO said the ASEAN Energy Awards, which are held annually, seeks sustainable projects which exhibit originality, provide market-based solutions and environmental benefits and make significant socio-economic contributions.

The award was received by MoRA’s Head of Building Estate and Maintenance Senior Special Duties Officer Pg Alli Pg Hj Mohammad.

Present at the gala dinner was Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar.

Myanmar took first place and Thailand third in this category.

Before 2011, the Kampung Sukang prayer hall relied on a diesel generator for its power needs, but there were issues in terms of managing and operating it.

Although the local residents were allowed to purchase up to 100 litres of diesel for the generator, it would take two hours to reach the nearest petrol station, and the high cost of transportation due to the distance made it impossible to run the generator continually.

The EDPMO added that the generator produced “aggravating noises” which would limit religious activities, particularly at night.

As a result, MoRA commissioned a local contractor to install a 10 kWp Solar PV System in 2011 to provide a stable and steady supply of power to the prayer hall.

The solar PV system generates around 13,140 kWh of electricity per year and has also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18,400 kg.

Since the system isn’t connected to the grid, all of the electricity generated is being utilised by the prayer hall.

The 10 kWp system is capable of powering 13 fluorescent light tubes, four to six sets of ceiling fans and a portable audio (PA) system.

The system is also fitted with batteries to store surplus power and to release it during the night and when there is limited sunlight.

While the system in place has significantly reduced the burden of the community, it also creates a pristine environment for the community to perform religious activities at the prayer hall.

The installation of the solar power system has helped the community better understand the importance of conserving energy and the environment.

The EDPMO is encouraging more participants from the public and private sector in Brunei to join this annual competition.

The Brunei Times

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