Masdar and PLN to develop Indonesia’s first floating solar plant

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A power purchase agreement (PPA) between Masdar and Indonesia’s state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara was signed in Abu Dhabi on 12 January. Source: Twitter, Masdar

UAE developer Masdar and Indonesia’s state utility have unveiled plans for the country’s first floating solar plant on a reservoir in West Java.

The 145MW Cirata project, named for the reservoir it will sit on, is the UAE developer’s first venture in Southeast Asia and its maiden floating PV project.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) was inked between Masdar and state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.

PLN subsidiary PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali will work alongside Masdar to develop the plant, which is targeting commercial operations in 2022.

Floating PV has been largely concentrated in East Asia thus far, with China and Japan holding a respective 73% and 16% of the 1.3GWp-plus global market in 2018.

The Cirata project is one of a series in recent months in Asia, as the segment expands further eastwards to South Korea – where gigawatt-scale ventures have been proposed – and southwards to countries closer to the Equator.

Major projects have so far been announced in at least Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, all with capacities in the range of 25-50MW – markedly less than Masdar’s project.

For his part, PLN director-president Zulkifli Zaini said in a statement that the potential for floating PV in Indonesia is “endless.”

Indeed, the archipelago nation’s geography makes it ripe for floating solar. It comprises more than 17,000 islands, 521 natural lakes and more than 100 reservoirs.

“The Cirata floating PV project is a monumental renewable energy project for Indonesia, and the biggest floating PV in Southeast Asia,” Zaini said. “It will improve the capability of the Jawa-Bali power system and also increase the renewable energy mix in Indonesia.”

Masdar invests in Egypt’s Infinity Energy

Days after inking the PPA with Indonesia's PLN, Masdar formed a joint venture with private Egyptian renewables developer Infinity Energy to target utility-scale wind and solar across Africa.

Masdar said it will invest in Infinity Energy’s portfolio and act as a partner on future projects.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development simultaneously revealed a plan to invest €60 million in Infinity Energy, with a view to becoming a company shareholder.

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