Masdar and Indonesia's PLN to triple capacity of Asean's largest floating solar plant

Second phase of the Cirata plant in West Java will boost its capacity by up to 500MW

Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, at the signing ceremony between Masdar and PLN Nusantara Power at the UAE-Indonesia Economic Forum in Jakarta. Photo: Masdar
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar and Indonesia's PLN Nusantara Power have signed an agreement to triple the capacity of South-East Asia's largest floating solar photovoltaic power plant.

The companies will be developing the second phase of the Cirata plant in West Java, Indonesia, which will boost its capacity by up to 500 megawatts, Masdar said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 145MW Cirata plant, built over a 250-hectare plot in the 6,200-hectare Cirata Reservoir, is Masdar’s first floating solar PV project and first renewable energy project in the South-East Asian market.

It aims to deliver renewable energy to about 50,000 homes, cut emissions and "create widespread change in communities", Masdar said.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Indonesia’s Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto and Indonesia’s Co-ordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, at the UAE-Indonesia Business Forum in Jakarta.

“The UAE and Indonesia share a common vision of achieving sustainable development and realise that renewables are at the heart of this vision. I am pleased to see that this partnership has been taken to the next level," Mr Al Mazrouei said.

"Such partnerships feed into our priorities for Cop28, where the energy transition will be front and centre with a concerted push to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.”

The Cop28 climate change conference is scheduled to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 and is expected to be the most inclusive yet. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, is the Cop28 President-designate.

Indonesia, whose geothermal energy sector is the second largest after the US, has launched plans to boost its renewable energy mix and pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner.

The South-East Asian nation has committed to a 29 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, or a 41 per cent reduction with international support.

Increasing the use of renewable energy could save Indonesia, the largest energy user in the Association of South-East Asian Nations, as much as $51.7 billion a year when the effects on air pollution and climate change are included, data from the International Renewable Energy Agency found.

The country is also a key strategic market in South-east Asia for Masdar, which has an expanding portfolio of interests. In 2021, it opened an office in the capital Jakarta to further boost its ties with key players in the region.

In February, Masdar announced its investment in Pertamina Geothermal Energy, a unit of Indonesia's state energy firm Pertamina, marking its entry into the country’s geothermal energy sector.

Last year, Masdar formed a joint venture with Jakarta-based Mitrabara to provide renewable energy solutions. In 2020, Masdar formed a joint venture with PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state electricity company, to develop the country’s first floating solar project, which is also one of the largest in the world.

“Masdar, the UAE and Indonesia are pushing the boundaries of innovation with the Cirata floating solar photovoltaic project," said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar.

"Within the key strategic markets of South-east Asia and Indonesia, Masdar is building on our productive partnership with PLN group to grow renewable energy capacity and support Indonesia’s ambitious net-zero objectives ahead of Cop28 and beyond.”

In July, Mubadala Energy, another major Abu Dhabi company and the oil and gas unit of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, signed an agreement with Pertamina to explore carbon capture initiatives in the nation.

Updated: September 26, 2023, 11:07 AM