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Applicants rush for special solar PV tariff

PETALING JAYA: Within the first 24 hours of opening, applications for the special tariff allocation for almost all the capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy projects had been applied for.


According to Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (Seda), applications for 140.6MW in cumulative installed capacity for solar energy had been received.


The quota for producing solar PV for non-individual applicants (including corporations) has been taken up for the next three years. It should be noted that these applications will be processed within 14 days by Seda and if there are unsuccessful applicants, their allocation may be up for grabs again. For individual applicants, another 11.41MW was available as of yesterday afternoon.


To recall, under the Renewable Energy Act 2011, Tenaga Nasional Bhd is obliged to buy renewable power produced by licensed players at special rates. The rates are known as the “feed-in-tariff” (FiT), and refer to the idea of producers selling their energy to the power grid.


In total, Seda received 168 applications wanting to secure the FiT through various forms of renewable technology, ranging from solar to biomass and biogas to mini-hydro. This was as at 1.45 pm yesterday.


Of the applications, 146 or 87% were from parties wanting to produce and sell solar power. There were six applications for biomass and eight each for biogas and mini-hydro.


The FiT will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, which explained the rush by renewable energy players in their applications.


When contacted, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin said as expected there was so much interest in solar PV that the quota was exhausted soon after with only a small portion left pertaining to small household connections.


“As regards to other renewable energy sources such as biomass, biogas and mini hydro, the response or demand has been rather quiet and parties who are interested should look into these areas and submit their bids online.


“Overall, the computer system seems to hold up quite well and there should not be any further problem. In any case, I visited Seda and was briefed by the chief executive officer who had been instructed to get as much feedback as possible and to fine-tune the system,” Chin said.


Source: The Star