The Jakarta Post
The Pandanmino hybrid power generating station (PLTH), which has contributed greatly to local economic development in Srandakan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, was conceived from a simple idea.
Built in 2010, the Pandanmino PLTH, which was designed to tap solar and wind energy, originally functioned to help local fishermen produce ice blocks, which are used to preserve their
“Their catch is sometimes abundant and some of the fish rot due to the lack of ice,” said Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta, during a recent visit to the Pandanmino PLTH
From the simple idea of tapping solar and wind energy, the Pandanmino PLTH was built with involvement from the Research and Technology Ministry and various other stakeholders, such as Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University (UGM), National Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN), the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, the office of the State Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises and the Bantul regency administration.
The total funds used for observation and simulation was around Rp 6 billion (US$671,000).
Since it started operating in early 2011, the 35 wind turbines, each measuring 18 meters high, 175 solar cell panels with a capacity of 17.5 kilowatts, are able to produce 83 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Every wind mill and solar panel is connected to a special device to convert current so the energy produced can immediately be used.
“Our duty is to initiate small and real things, while the local administration follows up and develops them,” Gusti said.
“We are very pleased. Pandanmino was previously dark and isolated, but has now become bright and a tourist resort,” said Pandanmino Community Motivating Group leader Suwandi.
He added that as an isolated area located 2 kilometers from the nearest settlement, Pandanmino was not linked to the power grid despite the fact that he had repeatedly applied for power to state power firm PLN, but always to no avail.
Now, with its development, the Pandanmino PLTH not only supplies ice blocks to some 150 fishermen, but is also able to light up the roads in the coastal village, along with 140 food stalls.
“The PLTH also meets the ice demand from the food stalls and we guarantee the water used to make ice is potable,” said local resident and ice producer, Pario.
The presence of the Pandanmino PLTH together with the shady pine forest has turned Pandanmino into an alternative tourist site, serving more than 200,000 visitors annually.
Visitors can relax with their families, enjoy the beautiful natural beach and dine at the food stalls under the pine trees.
Power generated by the Pandanmino PLTH is currently being tested for use in farming and fishery, such as by pumping water from the reservoir to irrigate crops and fill fish ponds.
“Results have not yet been optimal because we are still learning,” said Widjio, leader of a local farming community.
However, in the future, added Widjio, farming on sandy soil would be promising, due to the lack
But the question is, when will the relevant agencies provide guidance to the PLTH?
Although the facility is quite beneficial to the community, it would not be able to pay for the complicated maintenance.
According to UGM’s engineering school dean Tumiran, the energy issue should be resolved jointly and it was not possible to rely solely on the central government.
“If its presence has already been proven [beneficial], the provincial administration is obliged to pay attention to it,” said Tumiran.