Thammasat University (TU), Thailand’s second-oldest university, has launched an initiative toinstall solar panels on its rooftops for intra-campus electricity generating with the goal of reaching overall production of 15 megawatts by the end of 2017, the biggest among all universities in Asia and the fourth-largest in the world. Professor Dr. Somkit Lertpaithoon, Thammasat University rector, said the move was part of TU’s “Sustainable University” project. The solar rooftops are set to be installed at the university’s Rangsit Campus in two phases. The first phase will generate a total of six megawatts of power and the second phase will bring the total to nine megawatts by the end of 2017.
Currently, the top three universities in the world with the highest capacity of electricity generated from solar cells are Colby College at 30 megawatts, Arizona State University at 24 megawatts and the University of California at 16 megawatts. All three are located 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 rooftop power generating, replacing Nanyang Technological Univeristy in Singapore, which generates five megawatts of electricity from its current rooftopproject, the world’s fourth-most, after the three US-based universities.
TU deputy rector Parinya Thewanarumitkul said that fossil consumption is the major factor behind global warming and climate change. Thailand generates nearly 70% of its electricity from fossil fuel. The initiative will help support TU to generate around 30-40% of its own electricity.