PLUS Solar Systems Sdn Bhd is optimistic of delivering good results in financial year 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.
Its co-founder and chief executive officer, Ko Chuan Zhen said businesses might consider long-term gains of solar power, which was cheaper in the long run compared to electricity.
“Previously, solar power payback periods were seven to 10 years, but now it can go down to three years, thanks to tax breaks and innovative financing models,” he said in an interview recently.
Plus Solar, which was established in 2012, started as a solar consultancy firm.
According to Ko, 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,” he recalled.
Currently, 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 a 100 per cent contribution from Malaysia because overseas plans take time to develop, coupled with limitations from the pandemic especially travel bans globally,” Ko highlighted.
He observed, so far the company had 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.
The company was looking at an accumulated solar capacity of 800MWp in the next three years, the chief executive noted.
“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).”
Source is an intelligent cloud-based and artificial intelligence technology performance management that connects energy and operations data in a single platform.
Ko pointed out that Source, an energy management platform, was Plus Solar’s own proprietary in-house solution, which the company built over a three-year period.
He also stressed 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 had 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,” he explained.
He noted 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 stated the company had set a clear regional growth agenda as it sought to expand its presence in Southeast Asia after having established itself in Malaysia.
Although the expansion plan has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the company had partners in Vietnam who were 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,” remarked Ko. – Oct 18, 2020, Bernama