Long Loyang clinic first in nation to be powered by hybrid solar-hydrogen system


Julaihi (third left) shows thumbs up for the hybrid solar-hydrogen system. With him are (from left) Dr Jerip, Dennis, Zulkefli, Liwan and Abdul Aziz.

LONG LOYANG (Aug 9): The Long Loyang Health Clinic in Baram has created history with the introduction of the first hybrid system in the country that provides round-the-clock green energy supply derived from the sun and rainwater.

Minister of Utilities and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi officially declared the installation of the system yesterday at Long Loyang, a Kenyah settlement located 183km away from the nearest hospital in Miri city.

Witnessing the ceremony were his deputy minister Datuk Liwan Lagang, Deputy Minister of Transport I Datuk Dr Jerip Susil who had mooted the idea when he was the state’s then-assistant minister of public health, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, and H2 Energy Sdn Bhd group chairman Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

“This is the first project of its kind in Malaysia and it resonates with our Premier’s direction of promoting green energy,” said Julaihi.

Undertaken by H2 Energy, the renewable energy is an initiative by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Julaihi’s ministry, meant to deliver 24-hour electricity supply to the clinic to power up the lights as well as a host of equipment such as the cooling storage for temperature-sensitive medicines and vaccines, defibrillators and other basic medical devices.

This small-scale modular design can produce hydrogen fuel via electrolysis that incorporates water and solar energy, making it suitable for locations not accessible to the state electricity grid, and also generating cost-savings in the long run.

This pilot project took four years to reach completion. The system is now running, capable of supplying 25 kilowatt of power per day with a peak load of 2.88kWp. It is set to facilitate the clinic’s services to the local population of over 2,000, including those in villages and settlements near Long Loyang.

According to Julaihi, the pilot project underscores the government’s focus on attending to the needs of the rural communities such as healthcare, utilities and telecommunications.

For the record, his ministry has rolled out Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) and Sarawak Alternative Water Supply System (Sawas).

Julaihi also said with the state government’s emphasis on sustainable economy including technologies based on hydrogen, the pilot project in Long Loyang could open the doors for green hydrogen applications in rural power supply generation, which was more environment-friendly and sustainable.

He was also optimistic that the portable modulardesign could be applied to off-grid locations acrossSarawak.

“We don’t want anyone to be left out. The last mile connection is always on-going in the field out there as 100 per cent coverage is difficult due population growth in the respective areas, (and) more longhouses or settlements coming up due to new road accessibility,” he said.

Adding on, Julaihi commended H2 Energy and the relevant agencies for delivering the project despite the challenges in accessibility, Covid-19 travel restrictions, the unpredictable weather and high costs incurred in rural works.

The minister later announced RM15,000 from his Minor Rural Project (MRP) grant for the construction of a new Long Loyang jetty, and RM10,000 for SK Long Loyang’s parent-teacher association.

Additionally, H2 Energy also approved the contribution of 50 solar lamps for the village and the primary school.