Malaysia is well developed, 100% of the population have access to electricity. The share of hydro in the electricity generation mix is about 20%, but only 12% of the feasable hydro generation potential is developed.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has identified five sites that will help the Malaysian utility raise its hydroelectric power capacity from its current 1,900 MW to more than 3,000 MW by 2020, the company told Asian news sources.
According to TNB officials, the company’s plans include a 265 MW plant in Hulu Terengganu, 378 MW plant in Hulu Jelal, 150 MW plant in Tekal, and 12 MW plant in Chenderoh.
HydroWorld.com reported in 2007 that construction of the Hulu Terengganu and Hulu Jelal projects was to have begun in 2008, though it never did. State news agency Bernama also reported that TNB is planning on increasing the outage capacity at the 400 MW Sultan Mahmud Kenyir hydropower project by about 15% via upggrades to its existing turbine units.
The Sultan Mahmud Kenyir plant was commissioned in 1985 with each of the four turbines projected to have a life expectancy of about 32 years, meaning they are almost due for an overhaul regardless, TNB said. The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. But hydroelectric power doesn’t necessarily require a large dam. Some hydroelectric power plants just use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine.