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SolarQuarter ASEAN magazine had an interesting interview with Gan Boon Hean – CEO, Leader Energy Pte Ltd. We came to know about the company’s projects in the Malaysian market and major challenges. He also spoke about how the market will evolve further and the company’s future growth plans.
- Which have been the major solar projects executed recently by your esteemed company in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, we have completed two large-scale solar projects. The first one is the 37.7MWp solar farm, which we had won in the open bidding of LSS1 organised by the Energy Commission of Malaysia and the second one was the 29.4MWp under the LSS2 bidding exercise. Both the plants are in the State of Kedah and have achieved COD according to the schedule. Apart from the projects in Malaysia, we are also operating three large-scale solar farms in Vietnam with a total capacity of 330MWp and working on some solar farms in Taiwan. Currently, we are active on C&I rooftop solar projects in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
- As a developer, what key challenges do you face today in the Malaysian market? How do you mitigate them?
When we started our first solar farm business way back in 2016, the solar industry was still at its infant stage and there were not many solar projects in Malaysia and there are not many skilled or semi-skilled workers for the solar industry in Malaysia. We need to pool in all the resources available and learn on the job while developing the projects. We now have a team of a young and experienced team that is able to execute solar projects in any part of the world. We also have a group of financial institutions that support our growth plan for development in Malaysia and the region.
- What is your company’s growth plan for the next couple of years? Please tell us about some of your upcoming projects as well.
We are committed to fully focused on only developing renewable energy projects from now onwards. We are making plans to grow our footprints in renewable energy, be it floating solar, C&I rooftop solar, energy storage and EV charging stations. We even explore green hydrogen, and we want to be among the Leader in the field of renewable energy in Malaysia.
- How do you see the Malaysian solar market evolving post pandemic/in near future?
The Malaysian government has come up with a plan to increase the renewable energy mix in the power generation in Malaysia to 31% of the total generation, which will give rise to about 8,500MW of renewable energy, where most of these are from solar generations. The Malaysian transmission grid is still one of the most robust among the Southeast Asian countries and will be able to absorb more injection of distributed generation such as solar. There is still a big room for potential growth in the floating solar power plants, C&I rooftop solar, and third-party access corporate PPA for solar.
- What do corporate power consumers look for in a developer when they decide to go for solar power?
They are looking at developers that are having a long history of proven records in the power industry with strong financial and technical team backing.
- What are some of the major drivers driving the growth of the solar sector in the region?
Strong Government support and good incentives such as tax incentives and readily available funding from the financial institutions. Good and reliable transmission grid with a relatively intelligent smart grid that is able to maximize the distribution of the distributed generation.