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Construction work starts on 145MW floating solar plant in Indonesia

Construction has started on a 145 megawatt (MW) floating solar plant in Indonesia, which will be the biggest” facility of its kind in southeast Asia.

The plant is currently under construction on the Cirata reservoir in West Java Province. It is expected to be operational in November 2022. Once completed, the plant will provide enough electricity to power 50,000 homes, create up to 800 jobs and offset 214,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a statement.

The project is Indonesia’s first floating solar power plant. It is being financed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered Bank.

Its developer is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy group Masdar and Indonesian energy company PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesian state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

According to an Indonesian local report, the developer PMSE will need $145 million to develop the plant. It is reported that the agreed tariff is $0.0581/kWh.

Renewables expert John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “In land constrained nations, which typically describes much of southeast Asia, utilising floating solar is an obvious answer to the need to deliver more solar power generation.  Singapore for instance recently commissioned its 70MW peak floating solar”.

“Whilst there are technical considerations such as the need for racking systems to withstand protracted submersion in water, there are also operational benefits such as the impact on evaporation. With costs for floating solar being higher than ground mounted, policy considerations will likely be a primary driver for the commercialisation of more of such projects across the region,” he said.

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