The plant was inaugurated by Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, in the presence of Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
Cirata is Masdar’s first floating photovoltaic project and its first renewable energy project in the South-east Asian market. It is built on a 250-hectare plot of the Cirata reservoir, in the West Java province, and aims to power 50,000 homes and offset 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Floating solar plants are attractive to countries like Indonesia with expanding populations and scarce land resources. They provide higher solar-panel efficiency and productivity due to the proximity of the panels to the water surface that helps cool them.
Masdar and PLN also signed an initial agreement to develop phase two of Cirata with up to 500MW additional capacity.
“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,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-Designate, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Masdar chairman.
Established in 2006, Masdar is working towards a renewable energy portfolio capacity of at least 100 gigawatts by 2030 and an annual green hydrogen production capacity of up to 1 million tonnes by the same year. Currently, it is active in more than 40 countries.
Indonesia has plans to increase its renewable energy mix and pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner. It has committed to a 29 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The country is one of the key strategic markets in South-east Asia for Masdar, where the UAE company has an expanding portfolio.
In February, Masdar entered the geothermal energy sector through a strategic investment in Pertamina Geothermal Energy in Indonesia. It also opened an office in Jakarta in 2021 to strengthen links with key players within the region.
“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,” said Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.
In addition to Cirata, Masdar entered the geothermal energy sector through a strategic investment in Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) in February.
Masdar also opened an office in Jakarta in 2021 to further strengthen links with key players within the region.
Scaling up renewables could save Indonesia, the largest energy user in the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, as much as $51.7 billion per year when the effects of air pollution and climate change are included, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.