Sabah approves measures to increase power reserves and tackle shortages

KUALA LUMPUR – The Sabah Energy Council has approved a number of initiatives to increase the reserve margin for power and reduce power shortages.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor stated that these initiatives included exploring new renewable sources of energy to achieve and maintain a 30% reserve margin for generation and address power shortages within the state.

The council held its first meeting, presided by Hajiji on Thursday (6th June). It agreed to conduct feasibility analyses on new energy projects such as geothermal and low-head, submersible, hydropower to increase the mix of renewable energy in the state.

The Energy Commission of Sabah’s (ECoS’s) other proposals included the interim extension of existing power plants that are still viable, buying power from biomass plants and completing ongoing Large-Scale Solar Projects (LSS), procuring capacity in Sarawak, implementing Battery Energy Storage Systems, adding natural gas-fired electricity plants as a transition fuel and reviving the geothermal power plant.

Hajiji added that the state’s energy generation initiatives will also be supported by the completion of the Sabah Hydropower Development Master Plan before the end of this year.

The state government, in collaboration with federal authorities and the Sabah Blue Economy Plan, is exploring new technologies such as Small Modular Reactors in collaboration with Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion in accordance to the OTEC Enactment of 2024.

In his opening remarks the Chief Minister stressed the commitment of the state government to a sustainable future for Sabah by implementing the Sabah Energy Roadmap 2040 (SE RAMP 2040) launched on September 19th last year.

Hajiji stated that “SE-RAMP 2040 details various strategies and initiatives for balancing energy needs, ensuring energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability,”

He said that the MTS Meeting focused on Sabah’s energy challenges including grid stability and capacity shortage, as well planning to meet the electricity demand over the medium-term.

He also called on all stakeholders to take collective action in order to achieve the success of these plans and initiatives.

Hajiji had earlier stated that the MTS was approved by the State Cabinet in March of this year to ensure the effectiveness of the SE RAMP 2040 initiatives and strategies.

The MTS is chaired the Chief Minister and consists of 11 permanent members, including the Works Minister and Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry Ministers, State Secretary and Permanent Secretaries from the Finance Ministry, Works Ministry and Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry, State Economic Planning Unit director, Sabah Maju Jaya Secretariat’s Chief Coordinating Officer and ECoS Chairperson and ECoS CEO.

Members were invited to attend the meeting. The CEOs from Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd (SEC), SMJ Energy Sdn Bhd (SMJ) and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd all attended.

MTS was established following the transfer of power regulation authority from the Federal Government to Sabah and replaces the Sabah Tariff and Electricity Supply Implementation and Planning Committee.

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