by FARA AISYAH / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
TENAGA Nasional Bhd (TNB) has commenced operation of its second large-scale solar (LSS) project in Bukit Selambau, Kedah, on Sept 8, 2020, 114 days ahead of schedule.
TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan said the commissioning of the plant despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the utility group’s experience and expertise in renewable energy (RE) development, specifically solar power plant projects.
The 30MW plant with 134,880 solar photovoltaic panels and 14 inverters was initially targeted to start operations on Dec 31, 2020.
“The early commissioning of LSS Bukit Selambau is a testament to TNB’s commitment towards delivering sustainable energy for the nation, as well as its capabilities to execute such large scale RE projects.
“Together with the recently announced acquisition of majority control of Vortex Solar Investments Sarl in the UK, this positions TNB as the leading domestic and among the top RE players in the region and globally,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He added that the second LSS project has increased and strengthened TNB’s domestic LSS generation capacity which contributed 80MWac (123MWp) to the national grid.
The company’s first LSS in Sepang, Selangor, (LSS Sepang Solar) with a generation capacity of 50MW has successfully achieved commercial operation date in November 2018.
LSS Sepang Solar and LSS Bukit Selambau were both awarded by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (now Energy and Natural Resources Ministry) through the Energy Commission via the LSS competitive bidding exercise programme one and programme two respectively.
Both plants were developed by TNB’s wholly owned subsidiary, TNB Renewables Sdn Bhd.
TNB continues to work towards achieving its RE target of 1,700MW installed capacity by 2025, both domestically and internationally.
It will contribute to the government’s own target of having 20% of the country’s electricity generation mix from renewable sources by 2025. TNB’s total domestic and international portfolios currently stand at approximately 750MW of solar and wind energy.
The energy company recently gained a majority control of Vortex Solar by completing the acquisition of a 5% controlling equity in the company for £11 million (RM59.07 million).
The acquisition done via its wholly owned subsidiary, TNB International Sdn Bhd, increased TNB’s equity interest in Vortex Solar to 55%.
In March, TNB via Tenaga Wind Ventures UK Ltd (TWV) fully acquired two other UK-based RE companies in a bid to grow the utility company’s RE business.
It bought the balance of 20% interest in GVO Wind Ltd and Bluemerang Capital Ltd for £18.6 million cash.
With the acquisition, TNB now holds 100% asset ownership and control over the two companies and their respective assets via TWV.