Solarvest to strengthen position via new solar financing programme

The programme offers innovative tailor-made solutions targeted at commercial and industrial users with differing financing needs

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by TMR GRAPHIC

SOLARVEST Holdings Bhd aims to strengthen its position in the solar energy market through Powervest, an all-new solar financing programme to promote renewable energy adoption in Malaysia.

Its group CEO Davis Chong said the financing programme is part of the group’s rapid expansion into the solar energy business, which is expected to broaden its product and service ecosystem, while further solidifying Solarvest as a one-stop solution provider for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

He noted that Powervest encompasses two competitive financial models namely Powerflex and Powerlease, offering innovative tailor-made solutions targeted at commercial and industrial users with differing financing needs.

With Powervest, he said businesses are given an attractive opportunity to participate in Malaysia’s green revolution without the need for any initial capital outlays.

“This one-of-its-kind flexible and affordable green financing solutions allow prospective users to take advantage of all the benefits solar energy brings.

“We are upbeat about expanding the group’s presence amid the prolonged uncertainty. These two programmes will strengthen our position, and we will continue our exploration in large-scale solar (LSS) while expanding our asset ownership within solar energy in Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan,” he said at the virtual launch of Powervest yesterday.

Chong added that the launch of Powervest is in line with the group’s efforts to make clean energy more convenient, affordable and accessible.

He stated that financial hurdles have been one of the factors that hinder the acceleration of solar adoption.

“In these tough times, businesses need to minimise their capital expenditure to conserve cash and look for ways to reduce operating costs, such as electricity bills.

“While we recognise there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to solar PV system investment, we are offering a financing solution that we believe is comprehensive enough to meet most, if not all the different financing needs of our potential customers,” he said.

According to Chong, the Powerflex model offers a flexible financial package with zero upfront costs.

Depending on respective preference, businesses could opt to fully own the solar PV system by obtaining 100% financing, or they could co-own the asset with Solarvest, in which case they would only need to apply for 50% financing.

Repayment would be on a monthly instalment basis to the financial institution and Solarvest over a customisable period ranging between three to ten years.

Other key benefits include savings on the utility bill of up to 50% and tax incentives as high as 48% on the investment.

The Powerlease model is a long-term lease agreement between Solarvest and its partners, and the prospective customer to sell and purchase electricity generated from the solar PV system to be installed.

Customers will pay a tariff directly to Solarvest and its partners 30% less than what the utility provider ordinarily charges, while also receiving free operation and maintenance throughout the lease period.

When the contract expires, the ownership of the asset will be automatically handed over to the customer.

Chong said over the past five years, the Powerlease programme has gained traction and onboarded over 60 megawatts-peak (MWp) of projects from various industries including semiconductor, healthcare, building materials, food and beverage, shopping malls and many more.

In 2018, Solarvest completed one of the first and largest projects under the leasing programme.

The leasing market is poised to grow rapidly in tandem with the surge in clean energy adoption.

“Out of our 400MWp tenderbook, a fraction of it falls under the leasing category. Thus, we plan to tap on this trend to boost solar adoption.

“The strong uptake has encouraged us to expand and enhance the group’s financing solutions,” he added.

Chong said the outlook for the solar PV industry in Malaysia remains optimistic as the government is committed to supporting the growth of the industry.

He noted that Solarvest expects to gradually garner about 30% of the group’s recurring income from owning the solar assets and other contracts with different programmes within three to five years.

He said 30% of recurring income includes LSS, corporate leasing through the programmes and currently, the contribution to the company is small, and the increase will only come once the LSS project comes on stream by 2023.

Chong also does not foresee any concern with the group’s market expansion up to 2025, as the government is expected to propose new LSS projects.

He said the net energy metering (NEM) 3.0 take-up rate is so encouraging and the group is in talks with the government on the next NEM programme.