Sarawak to deploy 1,100MW floating solar systems at Bakun, Murum, drawing foreign investment

The mega Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) dam.

By Karen Bong

LUBOK ANTU, June 20: The Sarawak government has identified Bakun and Murum hydro dams for the deployment of floating solar systems to generate 500 megawatts (MW) and 600MW solar power, respectively.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg highlighted that Sarawak’s renewable energy sector, including the floating solar project, is attracting significant foreign investment to the region.


“We have foreign investors interested in the projects, and we have signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with United Arab Emirates (UAE) clean energy provider Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC).

“They are among the companies that will be developing (the floating solar projects) in Bakun and Murum,” he remarked in a recorded press conference after visiting the Batang Ai floating solar farm today.

Abang Johari (centre) flanked by Sharbini on his right together with others after visiting the Batang Ai floating solar farm on June 20, 2024. Photo credit: JaPen Sarawak

Furthermore, Sarawak Energy is already exploring the feasibility of a second phase of the floating solar project at Batang Ai dam with a potential capacity of up to 160 megawatts (MW).

This will further boost its power generation capacity, considering that the ongoing construction for the 50MW Batang Ai Floating Solar Farm, spanning 190 hectares, will transform the dam into Malaysia’s largest and first major hybrid power generation facility, combining hydro and solar.

It will boost its capacity to 158MW from the current 108MW generated through hydro.

The Batang Ai Floating Solar Farm is now 35 per cent complete and on track for commissioning by the end of October this year.

Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sharbini Suhaili pointed out that they have received many proposals from potential independent power producers interested in developing solar energy.

“Sarawak Energy’s solar team is currently evaluating each of these proposals and communicating with their respective proponents.”

Workers installing solar panels at Batang Ai reservoir on June 20, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

Sharbini emphasised that Sarawak Energy is well-positioned to support Sarawak’s goal of achieving 10GW generation capacity by 2030 by leveraging hydropower, solar, gas turbine, and biomass energy.

He also outlined that Sarawak Energy plans to invest up to RM5 billion per annum over the next 10 years in generation, transmission and distribution projects, to provide a modern and reliable power system for Sarawakians.

Funding for these projects has been secured through a mixture of internally generated funds and a successful RM3.5 billion issuance under Sarawak Energy’s RM15 billion Sukuk programme.

“Through our prudent financial measures, investments and strong support from the Sarawak government, covering a variety of aspects from political frameworks to funding, Sarawak Energy has been able to achieve its mission of near full domestic electrification, enhanced reliability of supply and help to power Sarawak’s accelerated socio-economic growth,” he added. — DayakDaily