Masdar JV begins construction of 145MWac floating PV plant in Indonesia

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An artist’s impression of the Cirata project. Image: Masdar.

Construction work on a 145MWac floating solar project in Indonesia has started after the joint venture (JV) behind the installation reached financial close.

Abu Dhabi-based renewables developer Masdar and PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN, said financing for the Cirata plant was arranged through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank.

The project, under construction on a 250-hectare plot of a 6,200-hectare reservoir in West Java, is being developed by PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi, a JV created by Masdar and PT PJBI last year.

Slated to begin commercial operation in Q4 2022, the plant will feature around 350,000 solar panels arranged into multiple islands anchored to the bottom of the reservoir using mooring lines. It will be connected to the 150kV Cirata switchyard, located 4km from the power project.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said development of the plant would not have been possible without the support of Indonesia’s government, adding: “The designation of this project as a National Strategic Project has been invaluable in enabling us to make such significant progress.”

The Cirata plant will support Indonesia in its ambition to reach 23% of its energy mix from renewables by 2025. The government recently revealed plans to increase the proportion of renewable power in its 2021-2030 national electricity plan to at least 48%, from 30% in its previous plan.

Amir Faisal, president director at PT PJBI, said the company sees tremendous potential for similar installations in Indonesia. “We look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.”

The country is also set to host another floating PV plant that developer Sunseap Group said will be the largest of its kind in the world. Construction of the 2.2GWp project, located on a reservoir on the island of Batam, will begin next year and is expected to be complete in 2024, when it will span 1,600 hectares and generate more than 2,600GWh of electricity annually.

During last month’s Solar & Storage Finance Asia event, it was suggested that the proven ability to deploy large-scale floating PV plants means financing should be readily available for new floating projects across Southeast Asia.  

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