Tien Ching, UMILE to invest in 49 MW floating PV in Malaysia

The two sides have agreed to set up a special purpose vehicle to build an 80-hectare project on a lake near the town of Pasir Mas, near the Thailand border in the state of Kelantan, Tien Ching Energy said in an online statement.

If completed, the project would be the largest floating PV array in the world.

Total investment in the project could reach 400 million ringgit ($90.4 million), according to Malaysian state news agency Bernama.

UMILE aims to integrate the array with an aquaculture project. Taichung-based Tien Ching Energy primarily sells solar water heaters and pumps.

Floating solar projects are increasingly gaining traction with investors, particularly in land-scarce countries such as Japan.

Floating PV pioneer Ciel et Terre expects to complete Taiwan’s second such project in June, in cooperation with GermanSolar Asia. The French company has already built a 481 kW floating array in the city of Taoyuan with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Tatung.

And earlier this month, Ciel et Terre installed a 220 kW floating project in Portugal. The array — built at a hydroelectric dam on the Rabagão River — is the first utility-scale floating PV project in the world to be integrated with hydropower.