Tenaga Nasional Eyes Big Role as Malaysia Develops Solar Market

Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s largest listed utility, is aiming to win more than half of the solar capacity being offered through government auctions at home in the next five years.

The state-linked company plans to be a big player as Malaysia pushes ahead with plans to develop 200 megawatts of solar farms annually starting next year, said Roslina Zainal, vice president of the utility’s regulatory economics and planning division.

A national tender for the solar projects will begin early next year, Roslina said in an interview in Shanghai.

The move is aimed at capitalizing on surging demand for green energy in Asia. Asia-Pacific outside India and China was the third-biggest center for clean-energy investment in the third quarter with $11.4 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Malaysia had 134 megawatts of utility-scale solar power projects at the end of 2014, which is expected to expand to 185 megawatts by the end of this year, BNEF forecasts.

The company, which has about 70 percent of the power market generated by fossil fuels in Malaysia, "wants to get expertise and knowhow" in renewable energy, said Roslina.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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