Floating solar plant with LCOE of $0.051/kWh comes online in Malaysia


The EPC Contractor SPIC Energy Malaysia Berhad together with the Malaysia Solar Photovoltaic (PV) solutions specialist Solarvest Holdings Berhad has completed construction on a 13MW floating solar power plant in Dengkil, Sepang District, in the Selangor state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

“The array covers an area of 53 acres on a pit lake and is owned by WD Solar Sdn Bhd, which is part of Malaysian mining company WD Group,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine. The plant features 38,790 JAP72D09 335W solar modules from Chinese manufacturer JA Solar and three SG3400HV-MV-20 central inverters from China-based provider Sungrow. The floating structures were also supplied by the inverter maker.

The project was developed under the country's Large Scale Solar (LSS) scheme and will sell power to local utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) under a 21-year PPA. “The project's levelized cost of energy is MYR 0.21608 ($0.051)/kWh, while total investment in the facility was MYR 47 million ($11.3 million),” Solarvest's spokesperson explained.

The Malaysian government has already held three procurement rounds under the LSS tender program. A fourth round was launched in May.

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A first round, in 2016, allocated 200 MW of capacity across the peninsula plus 50 MW in Sabah, northern Borneo, of the planned total of 370 MW. The second LSS tender, the following year, was nearer to its intended 520 MW target as it allocated 360 MW of peninsular solar and 100 MW across Sabah and the islands of Labuan. The third round tender attracted 112 bids for more than 6.73 GW of generation capacity and with the lowest solar energy price of MYR 0.17777/kWh.

At the end of 2019, Malaysia had 882 MW of solar capacity, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures.

*The article was amended to reflect that the project's LCOE is MYR 0.21608 ($0.051)/kWh and not MYR 0.1608 ($0.038), as we previously reported. The wrong figure had been originally provided by Solarvest, which said at a later stage that the error was due to a typo. It was also amended to reflect that the plant was built by SPIC Energy Malaysia Berhad together with Solarvest and not by Solarvest alone. 

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