Gigawatts of solar PV, energy storage advance in Indonesia as Singapore interconnector plans gather pace

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A recently completed floating PV plant from Sunseap in Singapore. Sunseap.

Solar and energy storage projects worth gigawatts of generation and storage capacity have advanced on Indonesia’s Riau Islands, with Singapore lined up to procure the electricity generated.

Solar developers Quantum Power Asia and ib vogt are planning to construct a 3.5GW PV plant and 12GWh energy storage facility in Indonesia that will export electricity to Singapore via a subsea cable.

The proposed US$5 billion installation would cover more than 4,000 hectares in the Riau Islands and export up to 4TWh of renewable energy to Singapore annually.

Anantara Energy Holdings, a joint venture between the developers, has responded to Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) request for proposals to obtain licenses to supply and import clean energy from neighbouring countries.

When fully commissioned in 2032, the proposed Anantara project would deliver about 8% of Singapore’s annual electricity generation, according to the companies.

“This bilateral energy import initiative is a landmark project globally and will be a catalyst for the region’s transformation towards clean, carbon-free energy,” said Anton Milner, CEO at Germany-headquartered ib vogt.

Singapore announced last year that it will aim to import up to 4GW of low-carbon electricity by 2035 as it looks to reduce its grid’s current reliance on liquefied natural gas.

Another proposal has been unveiled by a consortium led by Singapore-based developer Sunseap Group, which is looking to develop 7GWp of solar and energy storage systems totaling more than 12GWh in Indonesia that will transmit energy to Singapore.

Sunseap announced today it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the provincial government of the Riau Islands to develop solar and storage plants that will supply electricity to both the islands and Singapore.

In January, a partnership including France’s EDF Renewables and Abu Dhabi-based renewables company Masdar revealed plans to develop as much as 1.2GW of solar in Indonesia that would export output to Singapore.

Quantum Power said that the Anantara JV has secured offtake agreements from corporates in Singapore and has partnered with electricity retailer Union Power, which will handle connectivity of imported clean energy to residential, industrial and commercial customers in the city-state.

Anantara’s MoU with Riau Islands province and the agreement between the JV and Union Power’s parent company were signed today in the Indonesian embassy in Singapore.

“Should we be successful in being awarded an import licence to Singapore, we will bring up to US$5 billion of capital into Indonesia from Singapore, creating more than 30,000 jobs,” said Quantum Power Asia CEO Simon Bell. “It will also contribute significantly to Singapore’s journey towards carbon neutrality.”

Plans are also underway to realise a project that will export clean electricity from Australia to Singapore via a subsea cable that will pass through Indonesia. Sun Cable, the company behind the Australia-Asia PowerLink, last month closed a AU$210 million (US$152 million) funding round to support the development of the project, which would feature 20GW of PV and 36 – 42GWh of energy storage.

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