Masdar and PT. PJBI to develop Indonesia’s first floating solar plant

Masdar and PT. PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state electricity company PT. PLN (Persero), have established a joint venture to develop the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant – Indonesia’s first floating PV project. 

The new company, PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), was formally announced at a recent ceremony held at the Cirata reservoir in West Java, where the project will be located. The event was held as part of UAE-Indonesia Week.

“This partnership will help to strengthen the already-powerful ties of friendship and bilateral collaboration between the UAE and Indonesia,” said His Excellency Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, the UAE ambassador to Indonesia and the ASEAN region. “The UAE has committed to not only diversifying its energy mix but to extending its expertise outside its own borders. The Cirata project marks the UAE’s first investment in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, and will contribute to the nation’s sustainable development.” 

Construction of the Cirata plant is scheduled to start in the first half of 2021. The 145-MWac facility is said to have been designated a National Strategic Project (PSN) by the Indonesian government, giving it priority status and recognising its economic and social benefits to the nation.  

“The creation of this joint venture company, PMSE, will enable us to continue the exceptional progress we have made on the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant with our development partner PT. PJBI,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. “This project marks our entry into Southeast Asia, where we see tremendous potential, given the region’s rapid economic growth and commitment to sustainable development.

“It also demonstrates the continuing strong relationship enjoyed between the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, and will support the transfer and exchange of knowledge between our two countries. Masdar looks forward to extending its successful collaboration and strategic partnership with PJBI and PLN to expand its presence and investments in Indonesia.” 

Gunawan Yudi H, president director of PT. PJBI added, “The development of the 145 MWac Cirata Floating PV is a big step for PJBI – a subsidiary of PJB – to develop a business and partnership as an electricity producer in Indonesia. Through our joint venture company PJBI with Masdar, we commit to contribute to the development of new renewable energy power plants. We hope this collaboration will be the first step in PJBI and Masdar’s cooperation in Indonesia and in the region.”

The Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant will be located on a 250-ha plot of the 6,200-ha reservoir. Both partners said that upon completion, the facility will be able to power 50,000 homes, offset 214,000 t of carbon dioxide emissions, and contribute to the creation of up to 800 jobs.

Indonesia is reportedly targeting 23% of its energy mix coming from renewables by 2025 under its Electricity Infrastructure Acceleration Program. The government is currently considering plans to develop an additional 60 floating PV plants, capitalising on its more than 600 lakes and reservoirs, and helping to preserve precious land resources. 

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), scaling up renewables could save Indonesia - the largest energy user in the ASEAN region - as much as US$ 51.7 billion per year when the impacts on air pollution and climate change are included.

Click here to watch the video of the project kick-off ceremony.