The 192MWp Cirata floating solar power plant (Courtesy of Sungrow FPV)

The largest floating solar power plant in Southeast Asia comes online

The 192MWp floating solar plant, developed by Indonesia’s state-owned utility company PLN and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company – Masdar, has been put in operation at Cirata hydropower reservoir in West Java, Indonesia.

The 192MWp Cirata floating solar power plant (Courtesy of Sungrow FPV)

The power plant, inaugurated by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, will power 50,000 homes and offset 214,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Built on a 250-hectare plot of the Cirata reservoir and expected to produce around 300 GWh/year, the power plant is Masdar’s first floating solar project and its first renewable energy project in the Southeast Asian market.

In addition to being the largest floating solar project in Indonesia, it is also the largest such project built in a hydropower reservoir with a water depth of 100 meters, water level fluctuation of 18 meters, and a 50-meter difference in water bottom elevation.

The floating solar solution has been supplied by Chinese company Sungrow FPV, and features high-load-bearing anchor blocks tailored to the specific geological conditions of the project site.

The project design underwent scrutiny by third-party audit organizations, including DNV, RINA, INNOSEA, and received validation from the Dam Safety Committee (DSC) of Indonesia.

To remind, Masdar and PLN Nusantara Power (PLN NP) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Phase II of Cirata with up to 500MW additional capacity, following a regulatory development from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Indonesia that that has increased the portion of water that can be covered, for renewable energy uses, to a maximum of 20%.

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Indonesia’s minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, said: “The Cirata Floating PV is the result of collaboration between two countries, namely Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, which involves PLN and Masdar.

“The capacity of the Cirata Floating PLTS could be greater, with a maximum total potential reaching around 1.2 GW peak, if it utilized 20% of the total area of the Cirata reservoir. With the operation of the Cirata Floating PV, we hope it will increase investor confidence and encourage technological innovation as a solution to limited land in developing solar energy, where Indonesia has enormous floating PV potential.”

Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Masdar chairman, added: “The inauguration of this floating solar PV plant at Cirata is a testament to Masdar’s pioneering ethos, our innovative spirit and power of partnership.

“It is symbolic of the ambition of Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, his government, PLN Group and Masdar, that our first project in the country should also be the largest floating solar plant in the region.

“With just a few days to go before COP28 in the UAE, it is exciting to see tangible progress being made on further ramping up of renewables capacity as we collectively seek to deliver unified action on climate change that will work for all parts of the world.”

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