Indonesia inaugurates Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar farm

Published November 10, 2023
A SAMPLE of a solar panel in Indonesia that can float on the surface of water, not far from the 192 megawatt peak solar power plant.—AFP
A SAMPLE of a solar panel in Indonesia that can float on the surface of water, not far from the 192 megawatt peak solar power plant.—AFP

CIRATA: Indonesia inaugurated a $100 million floating solar farm on Thursday, the largest in Southeast Asia, as it seeks more opportunities to transition to green, renewable energy.

The Cirata floating solar farm, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power 50,000 households, is built on a 200-hectare (500-acre) reservoir in West Java, about 130 kilometres from the capital, Jakarta.

“Today is a historical day, because our big dream to build a renewable energy plant on a big scale is finally achieved,” President Joko Widodo said in a speech to mark the occasion. “We managed to build the largest floating solar farm in Southeast Asia, and the third biggest in the world,” he said.

The project, a collaboration between Indonesia’s national electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar, took three years to complete and cost roughly $100 million.

Situated in a lush, green area surrounded by rice fields, the solar farm, funded by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Cor­poration, Societe Generale and Stan­dard Chartered, consists of 340,000 panels.

At 192 megawatt peak (MWp), the farm currently generates enough power to supply electricity for the Cirata area. Widodo said the project would be expanded to 500 MWp, while PLN said it could eventually generate as much as 1,000 MWp.

The Indonesian government has said it will attempt to reach net-zero emissions by 2060. It is also attempting to reach net-zero power sector emissions by 2050 in return for financing for its $20 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) plan.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2023

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