Masdar, Indonesia inaugurate Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant
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Masdar, Indonesia inaugurate Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant

Masdar, Indonesia inaugurate Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant

Cirata is Masdar’s first floating PV project and its first renewable energy project in the Southeast Asian market

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE, speaks at the inauguration of Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant in Indonesia Image Supplied

Masdar and PLN, Indonesia’s state-owned utility company, have launched the 145-megawatt Cirata floating solar plant in Indonesia.

Set to be the largest in Southeast Asia, Cirata is Masdar’s first floating PV project and renewable energy project in the Southeast Asian market.

Built on a 250-hectare plot of the Cirata Reservoir, in the West Java province, it will power 50,000 homes and offset 214,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The inauguration was held in the presence of Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Masdar and PLN NP recently signed an MOU 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 has increased the portion of water that can be covered, for renewable energy uses, to a maximum of 20 percent.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate and Masdar chairman, said: “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.”

Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, said: “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.”

Indonesia’s net-zero emissions

Indonesia has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner. The Southeast Asian nation has also committed to a 29 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates, scaling up renewables could save Indonesia, the largest energy user in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, as much as $51.7bn per year including an impact on air pollution and climate change.

Floating solar plants are ideal for countries such as Indonesia with dense populations and limited land resources. They enable higher solar panel efficiency and productivity due to the close proximity of the panels to the water surface that helps cool them.

Darmawan Prasodjo, CEO of PLN Group, said: “The Cirata Floating PLTS is a showcase for global cooperation to realise emissions reductions in accelerating the energy transition towards Net Zero Emissions (NZE) by 2060.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar said: “In October 2023, Masdar and PLN Group agreed to triple the existing capacity of this already record-breaking project, supporting Indonesia’s decarbonisation and net-zero ambitions.

Apart from Cirata, Masdar entered the geothermal energy sector through a strategic investment in Pertamina Geothermal Energy in February.

Masdar also opened an office in Jakarta in 2021 to further strengthen links with key players within the region.

Read: DEWA selects Masdar to build phase 6 of Dubai solar park

Other Masdar international projects

Masdar is active in more than 40 countries. Its global investment portfolio exceeds $30bn and it is targetting a renewable electricity capacity of at least 100 GW by 2030.

The firm along with EDF Renewables and Nesma Company, recently won a bid for the 1,100 megawatt (MW) Al Henakiyah solar power plant in Saudi Arabia.

The Masdar-led consortium signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) to develop, build, and operate the $1bn solar farm that will power more than 190,000 homes annually.

In September, Masdar announced a partnership with Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform. The entities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will work to bridge the infrastructure funding gap and mobilise public and private finance.

The agreement will see both parties work collaboratively to catalyse sustainable development of the clean energy sector in Africa.

The UAE-based company has committed $2bn of equity as part of the UAE finance initiative, which was announced during Africa Climate Summit by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate.

The clean energy firm has been active in Asia and Central Asia. Masdar recently partnered with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to invest $8bn for up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects in the Southeast Asian country.

Masdar is also developing up to 10GW clean energy projects by 2035 that include solar power plants, onshore wind farms and battery energy storage systems. It has signed agreements for solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1 gigawatt (GW) in Azerbaijan.

This development followed the inauguration of the region’s largest operational solar plant, the 230MW Garadagh Solar Park.

In October, MW Energy, a joint venture between Masdar and W Solar Investment, signed an agreement with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.

The deal will see the entities explore clean energy projects with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts (MW), including floating solar power and hydropower, in landlocked and water-abundant Tajikistan.

In May, the company sealed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) and the Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade to develop solar and wind projects over 2 gigawatts (GW) and 500 megawatt-hours (MWh) of battery energy storage at multiple sites across the Central Asian country.

Uzbekistan, which aims to achieve 25 percent of its energy mix from renewables by 2030, is a strategic destination for Masdar. The country plans to achieve 7GW of solar and 5GW of wind capacity by the end of the decade.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar lists $750m green bond on ADX 

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