Masdar, EDF Renewables and partners eye 1.2GW of solar in Indonesia for power exports to Singapore

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Singapore is looking to import as much as 4GW of electricity by 2035. Image: Masdar.

Indonesia could host up to 1.2GW of solar PV that would export electricity to Singapore as part of new proposals put forward by a coalition of four international companies.

Abu Dhabi-headquartered renewables company Masdar said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with France’s EDF Renewables, Singapore-based electricity supplier Tuas Power and PT Indonesia Power to establish a partnership focused on exporting electricity to Singapore.

Singapore’s trade and industry minister announced in October that the city-state is planning to import up to 4GW of electricity by 2035, representing around one-third of its total supply, as the country’s Energy Market Authority issued a request for proposals to appoint suppliers to import and sell around 1.2GW of electricity.

The agreement between the four companies envisages the development of solar facilities with a combined capacity of as much as 1.2GW as well as associated energy storage. The partners provided no details on a timeframe for the projects.

“Singapore has recognised the need to diversify its energy mix, and is looking to other nations to help it on its clean energy journey,” said Jamal Abdulla AlSuwaidi, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Singapore.

Another consortium of companies led by solar developer and owner Sunseap Group signed an MOU in October to develop 7GWp of PV projects in Indonesia that will transmit energy to Singapore via a subsea cable. The consortium is aiming to achieve economies of scale by connecting solar projects from various Indonesian islands, including a 2.2GWp floating PV plant planned for the island of Batam.

Indonesian authorities last year recommended a route for transmission cables to pass through the country’s waters for the Australia-Asia PowerLink project, which would transmit renewable energy from Australia to Singapore. The infrastructure project could feature 17 – 20GWp of solar generation as well as an energy storage system between 36 – 42GWh in size to be installed in Australia’s Northern Territory, according to Sun Cable, the company behind the proposals.

Singapore’s renewables ramp-up saw the country inaugurate its first utility-scale floating PV installation last year, the 60MWp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm, the construction of which was profiled in a recent article for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power.

For Masdar, the formation of the coalition follows the company entering the Indonesian market in 2020, creating a joint venture with PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state electricity company PT PLN, to develop a 145MWac floating PV plant in the country. With construction work beginning last year, the Cirata plant is expected to begin commercial operation in Q4 2022.

On the latest coalition, Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “We are fully confident that this ambitious initiative will be a key step toward building a greener and more sustainable future for both Indonesia, Singapore and indeed the wider region.”

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