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Jakarta Post

Indonesia kicks off largest solar power plant development

  • Riska Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 18, 2020   /   05:32 pm
Indonesia kicks off largest solar power plant development A 10-meter-long solar photovoltaic panel produces 36 kilowatts of electricity in Genting Island, one of the 27 small islands in the Karimunjawa Islands district in Jepara, Central Java, which is inhabited by at least 90 families. (JP/Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman)

Indonesia officially kicked off on Thursday the development of the Rp 1.8 trillion (US$127.24 million) Cirata floating solar power plant in West Java, one of the national strategic projects (PSN), as the government aims to boost the contribution of renewables to the country’s energy mix.

PT PJB Masdar Solar Energi, a joint venture company between state-owned electricity firm PLN subsidiary Pembangkitan Jawa Bali and Abu Dhabi-based renewables firm Masdar, conducted the inauguration of the power plant.

The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) expert staff on priority investment Aries Indanarto said on Friday that Masdar’s investment realization for the project had only reached 1.97 percent of the total investment.

The agency, along with the government, vowed to fully support and supervise the project’s progress.

“By supervising the project together, we hope this will significantly increase the investment realization,” Aries said in a statement.

The Cirata solar photovoltaic power plant would have a capacity of 50 megawatts (MW) in its first stage of development and would gradually be increased to 145 MW by 2022, PLN strategic procurement 1 director Sripeni Inten Cahyani said earlier in January. She also said PLN would pay 5.8 US cents per kilowatt hour (kwH) of the plant’s electricity.

Read also: UAE’s Masdar to support development of Indonesia's largest solar power plant

Once fully operational, the project is projected to be Indonesia’s largest solar power plant and Southeast Asia’s largest floating power plant.

The power plan is also estimated to be able to power 50,000 houses, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emission by 200,000 tons annually upon its operation.

The solar plant was part of the business deals during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi on Jan. 12.

PLN mega project director Ikhsan Assad said the Cirata power plant would contribute to Indonesia’s target to have renewable energy account for 23 percent of the country’s energy mix.

This year, PLN was able to increase the contribution of renewable energy to 13.6 percent despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. The figure was higher than 2019’s renewable energy contribution of 9.15 percent, according to data from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

“We hope this number will continue to rise and we can reach the government’s target for renewable energy in our energy mix,” said Ikhsan.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the company chose Indonesia as it planned to grow its business in Asia through investing in the country.

“This is a milestone for our company as it marks Masdar’s expansion in this region,” he said.