Thai Thammasat University To Install Largest Solar Rooftops In Asia
BANGKOK, Aug 22 (Bernama) — Thammasat University (TU), Thailand’s second oldest university, has launched an initiative on installing solar rooftops for intra-campus electricity generating an overall production capacity of 15 megawatts by 2017, the biggest among all universities in Asia and the fourth in the world.
TU Rector Somkit Lertpaithoon confirmed that the solar rooftops will be installed at all buildings in the university’s Rangsit Campus by next year, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.
Somkit said the move was part of TU’s project on “Sustainable University”, under which solar rooftops have been set to be installed at the university’s Rangsit Campus in two phases, the first one this year will generate a total of six megawatts of power and another a total of nine megawatts by 2017.
According to the TU rector, subsequently the solar rooftops installation will be expanded to the university’s other campuses natiionwide, including those in Bangkok’s Tha Phra Chan area, Pattaya in eastern seaside Chon Buri Province and in northern Lampang Province.
Apart from this, knowledge on energy and sustainable development will be included in TU courses offered to students and research projects in order to create a change in energy production and consumption at the national level in the future.
Currently, the top three world universities with the highest capacity of electricity generated from solar cells are Colby College at 30 megawatts, Arizona State University at 24 megawatts and University of California at 16 megawatts, all in the US.
If the initiative is completed in 2017, the rector said that TU will become the number one university in Asia in terms of rooftops power generating, replacing Nanyang Technological Univeristy in Singapore, which has generated five megawatts of electricity from its current rooftops project, and the world’s fourth rank, after the three US-based universities.
TU Vice Rector for Management and Sustainability Prinya Thaewanarumitkul revealed, meanwhile, that the university’s Rangsit Campus currently used up to 70 million units of electricity annually or 190,000 units daily on average.
“The solar rooftops initiative, once completed, will generate around 75,000 units of electricity daily, making the university’s Rangsit Campus become independent in its electricity production and consumption by between 30-40 per cent,” the TU vice rector acknowledged.
Meanwhild Pattama Wongthuaythong, Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Bangkok-based Solartron Public Company Limited, a leading company for solar cells installation, told reporters that her company has signed a 21-year contract to install the solar rooftops at all TU buildings.