JOHOR BARU: Johor is determined to obtain federal government approval for its proposed RM1.4bil solar energy park in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi.
Disclosing this, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said the state government will seek special allocation even though the quota under Malaysia’s Large Scale Solar (LSS) procurement programme has been fully taken up.
“There is a lot of potential for Johor not only to develop solar energy but also tremendous opportunity to sell the energy, including to neighbouring countries, thus providing a new income stream for the state government as well, ” he said.
By providing solar as a source of renewable energy, Hasni, who is also Benut assemblyman said Johor, which during pre-Covid had been the third largest state in the country in attracting both local and foreign investments, could entice more investors in the future.
“Currently we have two big data centres. TM One Data Centre in Medini, Iskandar Puteri and Kulai Iskandar Data Exchange (Kidex) in Senai, which is currently at Tier 3.
“With these data centres potentially powered by solar energy, they could be then upgraded to Tier 4, thus attracting more companies in setting up their data centres here in Johor, ” he said, adding that US-based Microsoft Corp’s data centre project in Sedenak was also progressing well.
“We will propose to the Energy Commission for us to be given the special allocation by providing, among others the potentials that the solar energy plant may bring to the table.
“Maybe not at the full capacity that we proposed earlier; for a start, could be around 100MW to 150MW.
“We hope the proposal will be tabled to the Cabinet for consideration, ” he said when met recently.
On Feb 28, Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar in making an announcement about the proposed solar park that is named after him, said the state would become a major producer of eco-friendly energy in South-East Asia.
The Sultan Ibrahim Solar Park in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi was poised to become the biggest of its kind in the region with a capacity of 450megawatts. Through the Johor ruler’s efforts, it was also the state government’s first large-scale private investment project for 2021.
However, on March 9, the Sultan called off the ground-breaking ceremony for the project which was scheduled for March 23 to coincide with his 62nd birthday, owing to the federal government’s silence on the proposal.
Meanwhile on Friday, the Energy Commission of Malaysia shortlisted parties with about 823 megawatt of total bids in a request for proposals (RfPs), targeting 1 gigawatt of solar projects that were expected to reach commercial operation by 2022/2023.
The RfP forms part of Round Four of Malaysia’s LSS procurement programme that was launched at the very end of May 2020. — Bernama