JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia will begin to build the Cirata floating solar power plant worth about $129 million in 2021 as it was formally announced in a ceremony held at the Cirata Reservoir in West Java on Thursday, December 17.
“Alhamdulillah [Praise be to God] the launch ceremony of the development for the 145 megawatts Cirata Floating Photovoltaic (PV) Power Plant in Cirata Reservoir, Cipeundeuy, in West Bandung regency has already done,” said West Java secretary Setiawan Wangsaatmaja as quoted by State News Antara on Saturday, December 19.
The power plant is developed by PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state electricity company PT PLN (Persero) in a joint venture with Masdar, a United Arab Emirates-based renewable energy company. Under a consortium called PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali Masdar Solar Energi, PJBI owns 51 percent of the company shares, while Masdar owns a 49 percent share.
The total investment of the project in Cirata reaches about $129 million and it is under the National Strategic Project (PSN), which will be prioritized by the Indonesian government due to its economic and social benefits to the country.
“This is one of Southeast Asia’s largest solar panel projects which has a capacity of 145 megawatts. This is a truly environmentally friendly power plant,” said Setiawan.
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The floating solar power plant is eco-friendly construction as it refers to the Paris Agreement, a legally binding treaty within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This oversees the effective reduction of carbon dioxide emissions which takes effect in 2020. The Agreement was made during the 2015 UNFCCC in Paris.
“We have the Paris Agreement which requires us to reduce carbon emissions. The floating power plant is the first-ever eco-friendly one [in Indonesia],” said Setiawan.
“We already have solar power plants on land, but it’s our first time to build the floating one. So, we will not only have a solar power plant, but we also save our environment,” he added.
The West Java Regional Government is committed to building an eco-friendly environment to achieve “Green Growth in West Java.”
To inspire other companies
Meanwhile, Renewables director-general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dadan Kusdiana, said that the floating power plant project is part of an effort to explore the enormous potential of solar energy in Indonesia, which reaches 207 gigawatts (GW).
Dadan said the use of solar energy currently reaches only 150 megawatts (MW). He hopes that solar energy can make a significant contribution in achieving the national new and renewable energy (EBT) target.
“The development of Cirata Floating Power Plant is one of the 16 projects that have been agreed upon between Indonesia and the UAE [United Arab Emirates],” said Dadan.
“We hope the project could inspire other big companies to contribute to utilizing EBT [new and renewable energy], especially solar energy,” he said.
Dadan said the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has mapped the use of solar energy until 2024. Under the electricity procurement plan (RUPTL), several of the potential categories include the mining sector, tourism sector, fisheries sector, rooftop solar power plant, floating solar power plant, and other sectors with a total capacity of 2.1 GW.
Meanwhile, Cirata Solar Power Plant aims to utilize the reservoir area, increase the EBT target, and meet the demand for electricity in Java.
BKPM to assist the investment process
Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) expert staff, Aries Indanato, said his office is committed to guarding the process of the development of Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant from the beginning to the end. It is a strategic project that contributes to new and renewable energy in Indonesia.
The West Java Province has attracted the highest foreign investment in the past few years. The West Java Regional Government and its relevant stakeholders are expected to guard the projects until they are completed. It is hoped that the project will be beneficial for the surrounding community.
Aries said that the Cirata project was a follow-up to President Joko Widodo’s previous visit to the UAE. The state-owned companies of both countries, Indonesia’s PLN and UAE’s Masdar, then signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the development of the floating solar power plant in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said that Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant was a strategic project for the company.
“This is our first joint venture project in this region. Masdar has been operating the business in more than 30 countries and has developed [the solar power plant] with a total capacity of around 11 GW worldwide,” Jameel said.
Jameel went on to add that the Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant project is an important milestone for the company. Besides, it will strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the UAE.
(Writer: Muhammad Idris | Editor: Muhammad Idris)