Work Begins on Indonesia’s First and Southeast Asia’s Largest Floating PV Project

published: 2021-08-30 9:30 | editor: | category: News

Reuters and other news agencies reported on August 3 that construction has commenced for the 145MW Cirata floating PV power plant in Indonesia. This project was formally given the go ahead after the Indonesian public utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and UAE-based renewable energy developer Masdar had agreed on the terms of financing. Masdar already signed the PPA for the project with PLN in January 2020. The Cirata floating PV power plant represents the company’s first venture in the Southeast Asian market.

Indonesia’s renewable energy targets are 23% by 2025, 31% by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2060. An earlier study from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claimed that besides reducing air pollution and limiting the effects of climate change, Indonesia could save around US$51.7 billion annually by switching to renewable energies for electricity generation.

Zulkifli Zaini, CEO of PLN, said that construction can immediately begin following the financial close; and with the contributions from all parties involved, the project is expected to be completed on schedule. It should be noted that the Cirata floating PV power plant is not only an important part of Masdar’s global expansion strategy but also a key item in the strategic cooperation between the UAE and Indonesia.

As the project name indicates, the floating PV power plant is located at the Cirata Reservoir in West Java. Once completed, the plant will span an area of 225ha and probably be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. The project is also the first of its kind in Indonesia. Masdar is working with PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PT PJB), a joint venture that it formed with PLN. The plant is set to enter commercial operation in November 2022.

In a separate notice, Masdar said that the financing of the project was arranged through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Société Générale, and Standard Charter Bank. The notice also indicated that the construction of the plant has already begun.

Indonesia is made up of thousands of densely populated islands, so it lacks land for accommodating ground-mounted PV power plants. Fortunately, the archipelago has many natural lakes and reservoirs. These places are therefore suitable for the deployment of floating PV systems, thereby avoiding the competition for land with housing, agriculture, and industry. Reuters reported that PLN plans to gradually decommission its coal-fired power plants that currently meet around 60% of the country’s energy demand.

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