Saturday, 24 Oct 2020
18/10/2020 11:08 AM

By Siti Radziah Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 -- Plus Solar Systems Sdn Bhd is optimistic of delivering good results in its financial performance ending March 31, 2021 (FY21) as many are turning to clean energy, especially after realising the saving benefits of solar energy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-founder and chief executive officer Ko Chuan Zhen said businesses might consider long-term gains of solar power, which is cheaper in the long run versus that of electricity.

"Back then, solar power payback periods were seven to 10 years but now, it can be down to three years, thanks to tax breaks and innovative financing models," he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Plus Solar was established in 2012, starting as a solar consultancy firm.

Ko said he and co-founders, Ryan Oh Zhi Kang and Poh Tyng Huei invested RM100,000 in the company and recorded a revenue of RM130,000 that year.

A year later, the company changed the business model from a consultancy firm to one that provides engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning services.

"The change in business model proved to be a good move and we grew our revenue by 10 times to RM1.46 million (in 2013). We established branches in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

Plus Solar achieved a significant 134 per cent jump in revenue to RM150 million in the financial year ended March 31, 2020 compared to a revenue of RM64 million in the previous financial year due to considerable demand in Malaysia.

"This is still 100 per cent (contributions) from Malaysia because overseas plans take time to develop, coupled with limitations from the pandemic with travel bans globally," said Ko.

He said so far the company has outfitted numerous buildings with solar energy solutions, with a project track record of over 200 megawatt peak (MWp) -- equivalent to energising more than 94,000 homes a year.

Ko noted that the company is looking at an accumulated solar capacity of 800MWp in the next three years.

"We have plans put in place to achieve these numbers and a large part of it will come from our Large Scale Solar (LSS) and Commercial and Industrial complemented by our Smart Energy solution -- SOURCE," he added.

SOURCE is an intelligent cloud-based and artificial intelligence technology performance management that connects energy and operations data in a single platform.

Ko said SOURCE, which is an energy management platform, is Plus Solar's own proprietary in-house solution, which the company built over a three-year period.

He noted that the pandemic has certainly accelerated the adoption of technology in clean energy, as the company has seen positive uptake of SOURCE amongst many of its commercial and industrial clients.

The company has invested heavily in SOURCE as it feels that digitalisation of clean energy is the next leap within the renewable energy industry, he said, adding that to date, more than 100 buildings have already installed the solution.

"Many of our clients managed to save up to 25 per cent of their energy costs by leveraging this system, and they either save on bottom lines or channel their funds to more urgent areas of their businesses," said Ko.

He added that Plus Solar has secured a number of clients who are taking advantage of the Net Energy Metering quota in the weeks following the recovery movement control order (MCO) to fix their cost savings and hedge against escalating electricity tariffs.

On Plus Solar's expansion plan, Ko said the company has set a clear regional growth agenda as it seeks to expand its presence in Southeast Asia after having established itself in Malaysia.

He added that the company has plans for Vietnam and has put things in motion, while Myanmar and Cambodia also featured in its expansion plan.

Although the expansion plan has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ko said the company has partners in Vietnam who are making headway in spite of the situation.

"Vietnam is a rapidly growing economy and we want to be right where the action is. It is no doubt one of the hottest renewable energy markets in this part of the world. One year ago, an incentive-driven commission rush of 5GW solar projects has put Vietnam on the stage of the world’s most active market,” he said.



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