200 MW Floating Solar Project to be Developed in Indonesia

Indonesia is set to be the site of a 200 MW floating solar PV project that is poised to become the world’s largest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) plant when it is complete. Indonesian power company PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PT PJB), a subsidiary of state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, also known as Masdar, signed a project development agreement (PDA) to develop the floating solar project on November 28, 2017.

The agreement was signed in Jakarta by Iwan Agung Firstantara, president director of PLN, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar.

The project will cover an area of 225 hectares on top of the Cirata Reservoir in the West Java province of Indonesia. “PJB is excited and looking forward to working with Masdar,” said Agung Firstantara.

The floating PV project will be mounted on 700,000 floats moored to the bed of the Cirata reservoir and connected by electrical cables to an onshore high-voltage substation. Besides producing clean power, the facility will also provide shading against the sun, reducing evaporation from the reservoir and limiting the growth of algae.

“We believe this project development agreement is a milestone in the development of other floating PV solar power plants; this 200 MW project will be the largest project of its kind in Indonesia and PJB-Masdar will be a pioneer of floating PV technology. Inshallah, developing this project will be a great success and a proud achievement for Indonesia,” added Agung Firstantara.

“This signing marks the entry of Masdar into South East Asia and our first project in floating solar power,” said Al Ramahi.

“The agreement with PT PJB for the world’s largest floating solar power plant demonstrates Masdar’s ambition as a global renewable energy leader and the strength of our industry partnerships,” added Al Ramahi.

One of the advantages of floating solar power in tropical countries like Indonesia is that it enables renewable energy development in forested regions that are generally unsuitable for conventional solar power. The successful deployment of the Cirata project paves the way for the installation of floating solar power on another 60 reservoirs across Indonesia.

Indonesia has set a renewable energy target of 31 percent by 2050. According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the country has the potential to produce more than 700 GW of renewable energy, including 532.6 GW of solar power.

In September 2017, the board of directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved two loans totaling up to $1.1 billion (~₹70.8 billion) to strengthen and diversify Indonesia’s energy sector.

Image credit: Flickr