Prithipal (squatting) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the first renewable energy grid project in Penampang.Prithipal (squatting) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the first renewable energy grid project in Penampang.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s first renewable energy grid project has taken off through an agreement between Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd and NGOs Tonibung and Pacos Trust.

The grid features a new micro hydro turbine to be placed in the Kobulu river to generate an expected, additional 20kW of electricity for the benefit of the inhabitants of two villages, Buayan and Tiku in Penampang.

The turbine will feed into the two existing micro hydro turbine systems between these villages under the collaboration between Shell and the two grassroots based NGOs.

The new turbine was meant to rejuvenate the existing infrastruc­ture to collectively meet the energy needs of both these growing communities, they said in a statement.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to be involved in a project that benefits the communities through our partnership with Tonibung and PACOS Trust,” said Sabah Shell Petroleum Company manager Prithipal Singh at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Access to Energy (A2E) programme.

He said through the A2E they were providing cleaner and more efficient energy solutions to the communities that need it most while empowering them socio-economically to be more resilient.

This initiative will complement the socio-economic development activities that will be based on the communities interests and could lead to eco-tourism or food processing industries at both these villages.

These developments are expected to only take place once the installation of the renewable energy grid is completed, he added.

Moyog assemblyman Jenifer Lasimbang said the work pioneered by the A2E team would hopefully be an example of a working model for electricity generation and distribution for communities in hard-to-reach areas.