Malaysian utility firm Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is planning to build hybrid hydro-floating solar (HHFS) Photovoltaic (PV) projects under National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) at its hydro dam reservoirs.

TNB said in a statement on Thursday that the initiative is motivated by the success of its floating solar pilot project in the ash pond of the Stesen Janakuasa Sultan Azlan Shah (SJSAS) in Manjung, Perak.

“The pilot project in SJSAS was a remarkable success. We utilized the water’s surface area,

“As the country moves towards a low-carbon future and environmental sustainability, TNB, through TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TNB Genco), is planning to build 2500 Megawatt (MW) of HHFS,” said TNB President and Chief Executive Officer Baharin Din.

According to him, this responsible Energy Transition initiative offers sustainable energy solutions with positive ecological impacts.

He explained that by utilizing bodies of water for solar installations, TNB can conserve land usage, preserve land natural habitats, and reduce water evaporation.

“Unlike traditional thermal power plants, floating solar farms do not have water or air discharges that could negatively impact water or air quality,

“Hence, it minimizes pollution and supports biodiversity with minimal disruption to the aquatic ecosystems,” he said.

He also said floating solar aligns with sustainable energy development principles, mitigates climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and brings economic benefits to the local communities through job creation and investment.

“Overall, it presents a harmonious integration of renewable energy generation with environmental conservation,” he said.

He also noted meticulous planning and environmental impact assessments are vital to ensure the sustainable integration of these installations into the water ecosystems.

“For TNB’s mini floating solar at SJSAS, we conducted an ecology study through TNB’s wholly-owned research arm, TNB Research Sdn Bhd (TNBR),

“Every component of the floating solar system was carefully chosen & designed. Even the floaters or pontoons were made of certified foodgrade high-density polyethene to minimize the impact on water quality,” he said.

According to him, the project has shown no adverse impact on wildlife living in the surrounding area.

It is noted that since 2019, the floating solar PV located on a 175-hectare ash pond in SJSAS has generated more than 600MWh of energy.

The 288 solar PV modules installed comprise 105.12kWp of capacity, equivalent to a reduction of 390 tons of carbon dioxide during four years of operation or carbon dioxide uptake by 15,624 trees.

The electricity generated from this system can meet the needs of 30 houses.

TNB said the firm plans to expedite the implementation of the 2500MW HHFS, beginning with 30MW at its Chenderoh Hydro-reservoir, to be closely followed by locations at its Temenggor and Kenyir Hydro-reservoirs.

“Floating solar farms can complement other renewable energy sources to power the national grid with the potential to boost clean power significantly,” Baharin added.

As a key enabler, TNB said it has penned partnerships with the relevant state agencies with Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak (PKNPk) and Terengganu Incorporated (TI) to ensure that the HHFS development is carried out successfully and responsibly.

Baharin emphasized that TNB is making substantial strides in its commitment to driving large renewable energy (RE) and clean technology initiatives and spearheading pivotal flagship projects as outlined in the NETR.

According to the statement, the floating solar venture is part of TNB’s strategy to accelerate the decarbonization of its power generation business.

The company, which has a sizeable exposure to coal, is also seeking to decarbonize by reducing dispatch from coal plants and swapping it with solar and gas capacity while ensuring electricity supply security.

It will continue to explore new opportunities and solutions to create value for its customers, shareholders and stakeholders.

At the same time, TNB said it will continue to enhance its environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

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