Development Of Sabah’s First Renewable Energy Grid Begins

Jenifer Lasimbang tries her hands on the excavator at the launch of the Access To Energy programme ground-breaking ceremony, watched by Adrian, third left and Prithipal, second from right. 

KOTA KINABALU: Work to develop Sabah’s first renewable energy grid has just begun.

This comes after an agreement was signed between Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd (SSPC) and Sabahan NGOs; Tonibung and PACOS Trust, in December 2018.

This grid features a new micro hydro turbine to be placed in the Kobulu river to generate an expected, additional 20kW of electricity for the benefit of the inhabitants of Kampung Buayan and Kampung Tiku.

A statement by Sabah Shell suggested that this turbine will feed into the two-existing micro hydro turbine systems between these villages.

The new turbine is meant to rejuvenate the existing infrastructure to collectively meet the energy needs of both these growing communities, said Prithipal Singh, General Manager of Sabah Shell Petroleum Company.

“This grid also allows for more efficient use of the renewable energy through the sharing of electricity between these villages. It will also enable the ability to load shed excess electricity when the usage in either one of the villages is lower.”

Singh said Shell is proud to have the opportunity to be involved in a project that benefits the communities through our partnership with Tonibung and PACOS Trust.

He added: “Through the Access To Energy programme (A2E), we are providing cleaner and more efficient energy solutions to the communities that need it most, whilst empowering them socio-economically to be more resilient.”

Speaking at the A2E programme’s ground-breaking ceremony recently, Singh pointed out that this initiative will complement the socio-economic development activities that will be based on the communities’ interests, which could lead to eco-tourism or food processing industries for both these villages.

These developments are expected to only take place once the installation of the renewable energy grid is completed.

Jenifer Lasimbang, the State Assemblywoman for Moyog chipped in to say: “The work being pioneered by the A2E team here today will hopefully be an example of a working model for electricity generation and distribution for communities within hard-to-reach areas.

“I’m glad that through partnerships between private and civil societies, longer term benefits such as starting a small business, or running a homestay are now within reach,” said Jenifer who is also Sabah Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation.

Also present at this A2E ground-breaking ceremony was Senator Adrian Lasimbang.