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 NCNU set to become nation's top producer of solar power

NCNU President Su Yuhlong attended the lease-signing ceremony on August 20, 2020.

National Chi Nan University (NCNU) is actively building a green university and is now on its way towards becoming Taiwan’s top producer of photovoltaic energy by installing solar-panel rooftops. Estimated to generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the 1.5-megawatt project will help raise NCNU’s green energy usage to 15% of total consumption, and reduce 1,000 tons of carbon emissions.

In 2018, NCNU cooperated with the Ministry of Education in handling a joint bidding of solar photovoltaic equipment for campus installation. Due to challenges associated with Taipower’s distribution feeder system and other issues, including manufacturers’ low willingness to invest, the 2018 bid failed, but NCNU continued to work hard on creating green energy. In addition to voluntary investment, NCNU also signed up for another government-launched initiative to gather more resources and guidance in harnessing the power of the sun to power the school.

Through the Nantou County Government and the Energy Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ " Promotion of Green Energy roofs Project", NCNU and Xinming Energy Co., Ltd. (新明能源有限公司) signed a lease agreement for solar photovoltaic equipment that will generate 1.5 megawatts of power. This deal makes NCNU the first project site in the government’s green energy roof project to challenge the 1-megawatt benchmark, and cements NCNU as a green university and a development center for sustainable energy.

University President Dr. Yuhlong Oliver Su (蘇玉龍) stated that NCNU has been investing in the sustainable development of the campus and its surrounding regions for a long time. In recent years, the development of school affairs also reflects the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Therefore, NCNU ranks 45th (top 6%) among 780 universities in the world in the 2019 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings.

President Su believes that in this era of globalization, the promotion of sustainable development has become an essential task for academic institutions. NCNU’s participation in the pioneering green energy roof project is not only a direct implementation of SDG 7’s "Affordable Clean Energy" objective, it is also a major step towards fulfilling the social responsibilities of NCNU. He hopes that such endeavors will attract more companies and members of the general public to pitch in.

In the future, the university will continue to invest in photovoltaic infrastructure, increase the proportion of green energy used by NCNU, and create an ever-more sustainable green campus, promised Su.

Chen Ku-fan (陳谷汎), director of NCNU’s Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and Health Center, stated that the construction of solar power equipment shall tap into sustainable resources from nature, achieve carbon reduction goals, and utilize financial incentives from the government for school improvement.

Chen pointed out that the 1.5-megawatt project will generate an estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which will make 15% of NCNU’s total electricity usage green, and reduce a whopping 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

This project will resolve issues like roof leakage and insufficient heat insulation as well, which in turn will make campus buildings more durable and energy-efficient, he added.

Since NCNU became the first site for the government’s solar rooftop program, it is hoped that this project will act as a catalyst for implementing more green energy sources for Nantou. Moreover, the Nantou County Government specially invited NCNU to hold a press conference on Aug. 20. Accompanied by NCNU Chief Secretary Liu I-chung (劉一中) and Dean of General Affairs Tseng Yung-ping (曾永平), Dr. Su and Director Chen jointly promoted the advantages of installing solar-panel roofs. It is hoped that the presentation will help the people of Nantou County feel more at ease in participating in the government’s "Promotion of Green Energy Roofs Project.”

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