KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will be home to Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant, to be developed by the Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) at a proposed site in Apas Kiri, Tawau, soon.
Set to export 30 Megawatt (MW) to the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) grid under the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme, the geothermal energy technology is considered as both very green with extremely low carbon footprints and has very high availability and reliability rate as clearly demonstrated in other operating plants worldwide.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili disclosed this on Friday following a site inspection with senior ministry officers including Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai.
After an extensive research, followed by geology, geophysics and geochemistry analysis and modelling by GeothermEx Inc, USA and Jacobs New Zealand, they indicated the existence of an active geothermal system centred around the flanks of Mt Maria on Apas Kiri.
As of June this year, Seda has approved a total of 9,570 FiT applications with a total capacity of 1,308.55 MW.
In the same period, 6,201 FiT applications have achieved commercial operation with a total capacity of 364.02 MW.
By the end of 2020, the 11th Malaysia Plan estimates that renewable energy installed capacity will reach 2,080 MW or 7.8 per cent of total generating capacity in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.