Large-scale projects, net metering and solar leasing for Malaysia

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Malaysia has unveiled new measures to drive solar power after bringing the curtain down on its solar FIT, citing PV power’s rapid approach to grid parity in the nation.

Yeo Bee Yin – Malaysia‘s Minister for Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change – has been attempting to sugar the pill over the weekend with announcements related to a new large scale solar auction, a revised net metering system and the introduction of solar leasing to drive residential PV take-up.

According to a report run by business website The Malaysian Reserve on Friday, the minister announced on Thursday the opening of the third round of Malaysia’s Large Scale Solar (LSS3) procurement process.

Although the report of her comments to the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur does not carry details of the size of the utility-scale auction, it was stated requests for proposals will open “towards the end of the year, or in January”, with submission of bids by the third quarter of next year.

Net metering and solar leasing

The energy minister also reportedly announced a move to make the nation’s net metering regime more attractive by moving to offset surplus energy fed back into the grid on a like for like basis, rather than forcing prosumers to accept a lower displaced cost for excess energy. Malaysian newspaper The Star reports prosumers currently have to pay MYR0.50 ($0.12) per kilowatt hour for electricity but receive only MYR0.31 in return for their surplus energy.

The Star reports the new net metering regime will be introduced on January 1, at the same time as solar leasing is rolled out, to further encourage domestic solar in Malaysia.

The Reserve states the new Supply Agreement for Renewable Energy (SARE) will see third-party investors agree a price with homeowners and utilities that ensures a saving on bills for the homeowner plus a return for the investor. The investor will then finance installation of the panels, ensuring there is no upfront cost for the householder.

GSPARX, a unit of Tenaga Nasional Bhd – Malaysia’s only peninsular electricity utility – which was established to encourage solar, has signed up to the SARE scheme, and was this week joined by Johor Bahru-based domestic installer Ditrolic, which will offer its SolarLease package to commercial and industrial clients across the nation.

This article was amended on 24/10/18 to include the addition of Ditrolic to the national solar leasing program.