The Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA) would like to express its grave concern and disappointment on the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry’s (KeTTHa) awarding of a total of 200 MWp of utility-scale solar power plants on a fast-track basis to an unknown consortium of companies, “Call for more solar power plants” (StarBiz, Jan 27) and “Seda completes e-balloting of FiA applications” (StarBiz, Feb 2).
The announcement by KeTTHA has taken everybody in the photovoltaic (PV) industry completely by surprise as it was made before the final detailed implementation guidelines on the mechanisms for the 500 MWp Net Energy Metering (NEM) and 1000 MWp Utility Scale Solar (USS), to be implemented until 2020, were finalised and made known to the public and industry players.
That these projects are to be implemented on a fast-track basis is quite surprising as our country has not had any serious electricity supply problems, and the reason that Malaysia needs to catch up with its neighbours also does not hold water to justify the direct award of the contracts.
The announcement has also understandably caused uneasiness and concern among our members and other solar PV players as they fear these programmes will be monopolised by a few big companies and foreign entities. We would thus like to call upon KeTTHA to reveal to the public details of the projects, such as the name of the companies and their consortium members, their experience and expertise, and the electricity tariff to be sold to Tenaga Nasional Bhd., among others.
MPIA would also like to call upon KeTTHa to ensure that the allocation of the NEM and USS quota is fairly distributed, and in this respect we welcome Seda’s (Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia) proposal to widen the eligible PV capacity range under USS from a minimum capacity of 1 MWp to a maximum of 50 MWp to ensure that as many local Malaysian companies as possible can participate in and derive benefits from these new programmes in this category.