Malaysia launches 1 GW solar tender

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Malaysia’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has announced the fourth round of the nation’s Large Scale Solar (LSS) procurement scheme will open on Sunday.

The ministry tweeted, the maximum size of projects eligible has been halved, from 100 MW to 50 MW, to enable more developers to participate. Each developer will be limited to a maximum of three bids.

Half of the available capacity will be for 10-30 MW projects with the balance for larger facilities and successful applicants will have until the end of 2023 to get their plants connected to the grid.

The Malaysian government has already held three procurement rounds under the national tender program.

Previous rounds

A first round, in 2016, allocated 200 MW of capacity across the peninsula plus 50 MW in Sabah, northern Borneo, of the hoped-for 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 exercise still fell short, however, despite attracting bids for 1.6 GW of capacity, at prices ranging from MYR0.33-0.53/kWh.

The last tender round attracted 112 bids, for more than 6.73 GW of generation capacity and with a lowest solar energy price of MYR0.17777/kWh ($0.041). However, energy regulator Suruhanjaya Tenaga has shortlisted only five bidders, for a total generation capacity of 490 MW, to hint the exercise will again be under-subscribed.

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

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