Friday 20 July 2012

'Suzi's not only firm to get multiple solar power quotas'

Companies allegedly owned by the daughter of the recently retired chief secretary to the government are not the only ones that secured multiple quotas for the fledgling solar power feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme.

"Other companies... have also been equally successful" in securing multiple quotas, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) said in a statement today, but it did not provide details.

"This is possible as long as the applicant complies with the application process and the documentation required.

"The time difference between some of the submissions is only a millisecond and the solar PV quota allocated for non-individuals was exhausted within two hours after Seda launched the e-FIT," it said.

In its lengthy press statement late this evening, Seda added that no limit had been set for each investor as Seda wanted to encourage private investment in the new industry.

Improvements were continually being made to the seven-month-old system, with steps "also being taken to minimise the possibility of monopolisation of renewable energy quota available for application".

The system is also completely automated and does not involved humans, as per tender processes.

Seda also said that it places no minimum requirement for experience or paid-up capital as FiT is a very new industry.

"If the Feed-in Approval (FiA) is only granted to companies with extensive experience in solar power, this would have resulted in a market dominated by foreign companies, and thus limit the ability of our local players to grow."

It added that companies that apply have no way of knowing whether they would succeed, so it would be unfair to expect them to make huge investments beforehand.

"Most of the companies that participate in the FiT programme formed a special purpose vehicle and some with RM2 paid-up capital because there is no guarantee they will get the quota," it said, providing examples of quota applicants.

Companies need to meet requirements

It said that only after the quota was granted would Seda monitor their progress and ensure that the companies meet "requirements... and various milestones by certain dates" prior to the commencement of the FiT.

"For example, to generate electricity and sell to a distribution licensee, a company must be licensed by Suruhanjaya Tenaga, where to obtain the generation licence, the successful applicant must have a minimum RM200,000 in paid-up capital or two percent of the project cost, whichever higher," it said.

NONEIt said failure to meet any requirement or milestone would result in a revocation of the FiA.

"Seda regrets the accusations and allegations by (Lembah Pantai MP) Nurul Izzah Anwar and (Petaling Jaya Utara MP) Tony Pua and is of the view that such allegations are clearly unwarranted and unjustified."

Nurul Izzah and Pua had questioned how companies related to Sun Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, said to be owned by Suzi Suliana Sidek, who is the daughter of former chief secretary Sidek Hassan, secured the "lion's share" of the quotas.

Suzi Suliana is alleged to be in control of 12 companies that in turn control 32.4 percent of 45.9 megawatt (MW) of the quota set for the solar energy under the scheme, above the limit of 1MW to 5MW for each company.

Seda has said that it is mulling legal action against Pua.

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