KUCHING: A mini hydro electric dam project by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas)’ Centre for Renewable Energy has won Renewable Energy – Off Grid Power award at the National Energy Award (NEA) 2019 in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday night.
Unimas vice chancellor Professor Datuk Mohamad Kadim Suaidi led a team from the university to receive the award from Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin during the ceremony.
Apart from trophy and cash prize of RM15,000, Unimas has also been selected to represent Malaysia in the Asean Energy Award 2019, under the same category, to be held later this year in Bangkok.
Unimas in a statement explained that Kampung Assum, home to about 35 Bidayuh families and with a population of about 450 was initially not connected to the electricity grid, forcing it to rely on costly diesel-powered generators for power until the hydro dam project was implemented.
The university’s Centre for Renewable Energy, with a grant of about RM4 million from the federal government, completed a design and build project to provide basic hydroelectric power supply of 10KW + 5KW systems in 2017 through the mini hydro system.
“Today, Kampung Assum is already on state’s electricity grid and the micro hydro system is thereby connected to a small factory hall owned by the community that allows them to conduct income generation activities for the village with free power supply,” it said.
It added that Unimas hopes to make Malaysia proud at the Asean level awards in Bangkok through this project.