PETALING JAYA (July 24): Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) chairman Tan Sri Fong Chan Onn has described the latest round of allegations against the authority as irresponsible and “detrimental to the development of the renewable energy industry”.
“The continued allegations and attacks by (DAP publicity chief) Tony Pua were made irresponsibly without any attempt to seek prior clarification from Seda which would have been immediately forthcoming,” Fong said in a statement on Monday night.
“Seda welcomes constructive criticism but takes the view that these uninformed, unwarranted and unjustified allegations are detrimental to the development of the renewable energy industry.”
On Monday, Pua had raised more questions over Seda’s awarding of multiple solar energy quotas to 12 companies owned by Suzi Suliana Mohd Sidek and her business partners through various holding companies and joint ventures.
Suzi is the daughter of Petronas chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, who is also a former Chief Secretary to the Government.
Seda had issued a statement last Friday addressing Pua’s earlier allegations of Suzi’s companies being technically and financially unfit to have been awarded the quotas.
But Pua on Monday responded by questioning whether all 12 companies had carried out a power system study (PSS) before applying for a Feed-in Approval (FiA) as required by the Renewable Energy Act (RE) 2011 Technical and Operational Rules.
He pointed out that a PSS would take 30 days costing RM40,000 and that eight of the 12 companies were only set up 21 days before the application deadline.
Fong, however, stated that the 30-day deadline is the maximum period given to the distribution licensee to complete a PSS and that it was possible to complete a PSS within a shorter duration.
“A PSS is a technical feasibility study having regard to technical factors like the proposed location and capacity of the plant,” he said.
According to Fong, the study is not reliant on the identity of the FiA applicant and could be initiated by the project promoters before a special purpose vehicle (SPV) is formed for the purpose of the project and FiA application.
“So long as the PSS report accompanies an application for FiA, it doesn’t matter if the PSS commenced before the SPV was formed,” he said.
“All FiAs were only granted by Seda after the requisite PSS reported were uploaded into the Feed-in Tariff (e-FiT) online system.”
On Pua’s contention that Suzi’s companies might not have secured the required financing for the project, Fong said all applicants were issued with FiAs only after they had provided documentary evidence relating to their financial capability to fund the project.
He, however, said Seda could not disclose the details of such documentary evidence as they were confidential in nature.
“Seda regrets that its sincere efforts to develop the renewable energy industry and to promote transparency through an online application process has been unfairly manipulated by what we believe may be politically motivated allegations,” Fong said.
In an immediate reaction, Pua said that DAP had simply responded to Seda’s advertorials in mainstream dailies that sought to explain the process of the e-Fit online system.
“If Seda has not replied satisfactorily then surely we have the right to give criticism,” he said.
“We are not bound to accept blindly their replies whether face-to-face or in writing,” he said via email to theedgemalaysia.com. “If we’ve made a mistake, show it to us and I’m sure we’ll pay the price for it.”
Pua confirmed that DAP had been invited to Seda’s public briefing tomorrow on the e-Fit online system.