Kamis 09 Nov 2023 15:41 WIB

Indonesia Home the Largest Floating Solar Plant in SEA

The President wants the full potential of renewable energy to be exploited.

Rep: Dessy Suciati Saputri, Intan Pratiwi, Dedy Darmawan Nasution/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Technician inspect solar panels on Cirata Reservoir, Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Tuesday (26/9/2023).
Foto: Republika/Putra M. Akbar
Technician inspect solar panels on Cirata Reservoir, Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Tuesday (26/9/2023).

JAKARTA -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant (PLTS) with a capacity of 192 megawatts peak (MWp) in Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Thursday (9/11/2023). In his speech, Jokowi said that the floating power plant is the largest in Southeast Asia and the third largest in the world.

“Today is a historic day because our great dream of building an EBT plant on a large scale can finally be realized. We managed to build one of the largest floating solar power plants in Southeast Asia and number 3 in the world,” Jokowi said.

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Jokowi said that if Cirata's floating power plant continues to be maximized, Indonesia could have a capacity of up to 1,000 MWp. “In Cirata there is already a power plant with a capacity of 1,000 mw, plus now with a floating power plant of 192 mw peak. In the future, if maximized, it can be increased to 1,000 MW peak. So, the hydropower can also create green energy,” he said.

Cirata floating power plant is the result of a collaboration between the Ministry of ESDM, the Ministry of BUMN, PT PLN (Persero), as well as cooperation with the company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Masdar.

“I am happy and proud that this floating Cirata PLTS is completed. This is the result of the work of the Ministry of ESDM, BUMN, together with PLN and collaboration with the world power, namely Masdar from the UAE,” he said.

Jokowi wants all the potential of new renewable energy in Indonesia to be exploited. He is also optimistic that Indonesia can develop it because the technology is already available.

He then exemplified the potential of renewable new energy coming from wind power. Despite the challenges of the weather, the problem could be overcome by building smart grid technology so that it can generate stable electricity.

“The challenge of locating EBT potential far from the center, electricity needs can be overcome, we can build the solution with transmission lines and later every potential EBT in Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi can be channeled to economic centers,” he said.

Jokowi also said that the existence of PLTS is mostly utilized to support the needs of the green energy industry. “Indeed, the demand for green energy for the industry is the most because everyone wants to get premium products from green energy,” Jokowi said.

Jokowi also encourages the development of other EBTs consistently in the country, both solar, hydropower, geothermal, and wind. “We expect that more and more new renewable energy will be built in our country Indonesia, be it solar power, hydropower, geothermal, wind power. I think if we continue to do this consistently, it will be very good,” Jokowi said.

Jokowi said that there are a number of other foreign investors interested in investing in EBT development in the country. However, he wants the development to be gradual.

“If (foreign investors) are lining up a lot, but we want one-on-one, one finish can be improved again not all of us accept. But, the second of us may be a bit bigger, which is hydropower, but it's not final,” he said

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) considers the operation of Cirata Floating Power Plant, West Java, to be a milestone in accelerating the development of solar power plants for electricity decarbonization in Indonesia.

“Along with decreasing investment costs, PLTS makes it the cheapest renewable energy plant today. Indonesia must optimize the technical potential of PLTS reaching 3.7 TWp to 20 TWp in order to support the achievement of the electricity sector's peak emission target in 2030, at the lowest cost,” said IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa.

Technician inspect solar panels on Cirata Reservoir, Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Tuesday (26/9/2023). - (Republika/Putra M. Akbar)

With the inauguration of floating power plant in Cirata, Indonesia is now the location of the largest floating power plant in Southeast Asia, previously held by Tengeh Floating Power Plant in Singapore.

IESR also encourages the government and PLN to utilize the technical potential of floating power plants that reach 28.4 GW from 783 water body sites in Indonesia to accelerate the utilization of PLTS.


Data from the Ministry of ESDM shows the potential for large-scale floating power plants that can be developed in at least 27 locations of water bodies that have hydroelectric power plants (hydroelectric power plants), with a total potential of 4.8 GW and equivalent to an investment of 3.84 billion US dollars (IDR 55.15 trillion).

“Utilizing the potential of these floating power plants will accelerate the achievement of the renewable energy mix target and reach the net zero emissions (NZE) target faster than 2060,” Fabby said.

The government and PLN, he continued, should optimize the potential of floating power plants by creating a regulatory framework that attracts the interest of business operators to invest in the plant. One is by providing a rate of return on investment according to the risk profile, but attracting and reducing the additional burden of managing investments.

In addition, he said, the government needs to pay attention to the PLN assignment scheme to its subsidiaries, which has been a priority option for the development of floating PLTS.

President Joko Widodo (center) accompanied by Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (second right), Minister of SOE Erick Thohir (right), and President Director of PLN Darmawan Prasodjo (left) signing the inscription when inaugurating the Solar Power Plant (PLTS) Cirata Floating in Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Thursday (9/11/2023). - (ANTARA FOTO/Raisan Al Farisi)

Through the scheme, subsidiaries seek parties willing to invest or equity investors for minority ownership, but must be willing to assume a larger share of equity through shareholder loans.

According to him, the scheme benefits PLN, but cuts the return on investment for investors and risks the bankability of the project and the interest of lenders. “This scheme can also create unhealthy business competition among business operators, as only those with large equity can partner with PLN, and the majority of foreign investors. This could have an impact on overall investment interest,” Fabby said.

The solution, according to Fabby, requires government support by means of the government strengthening the capital of PLN and its subsidiaries through the inclusion of state capital (PMN) specifically for the development of renewable energy. Another way is to provide a concession loan to PLN through PT SMI which can then be converted as a shareholding in a floating PLTS project. 

Thus, Indonesia can reap the investment potential and low-emission electricity from floating power plants with definite and binding regulatory support from the government.

In July 2023, the government has published the Public Works and Public Housing Candy Number 7 of 2023 on the Second Amendment to the Minister of Public Works And Public Housing Regulation No. 27/PRT/M/2015 on Dams which no longer limits the extent of water bodies in reservoirs that can be utilized for floating hydroelectric power plants at the figure of 5 percent.

“The regulation opens up opportunities for the development of floating hydroelectric power plants on a larger scale, with records using more than 20 percent water body expanses needing to get recommendations from the Dam Safety Commission,” Fabby said.

sumber : Antara
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