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Indonesia kicks off largest solar power plant

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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. The Jakarta Post

Indonesia kicks off largest solar power plant

Indonesia officially kicked off on December 17 the development of the 1.8 trillion rupiah ($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 December 18 that Masdar’s investment realisation for the project had only reached 1.97 per cent of the total investment.

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

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

The Cirata solar photovoltaic power plant would have a capacity of 50MW in its first stage of development and would gradually be increased to 145MW by 2022, PLN strategic procurement 1 director Sripeni Inten Cahyani said in January.

She also said PLN would pay 5.8 US cents per kilowatt hour of the plant’s electricity.

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

The solar plant was part of the business deals during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi on January 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 per cent of the country’s energy mix.

This year, PLN was able to increase the contribution of renewable energy to 13.6 per cent despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

The figure was higher than last year’s renewable energy contribution of 9.15 per cent, according to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

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

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.

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



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