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Indonesia to Plug Coal Gap With Southeast Asia’s Largest Floating Solar Plant

Project backed by state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara and UAE’s Masdar; Power generator pledges to gradually shut down coal-fired plants

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But US solar trade groups have opposed tariffs because their members - facility developers and panel installers - rely on cheap imports to compete with fossil fuels. Photo: Reuters

• Project backed by state utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara and UAE’s Masdar

• Power generator pledges to gradually shut down coal-fired plants


Indonesia is to begin work on a 145 megawatt (MW) floating solar power project, the largest in Southeast Asia, after financing for the project was agreed on Tuesday.

Thanks to the project backed by state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and Masdar of United Arab Emirates, Indonesia is aiming to draw 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025 – and the government has said the country will try to reach net zero emissions by 2060 by moving away from coal.

“By securing the financial support for this project, we can immediately start the construction stage,” PLN chief executive Zulkifli Zaini said in an online briefing on Tuesday.


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“We are optimistic that, with the support of all stakeholders, this environmentally friendly project can start commercial operation on schedule,” he added.

A joint venture between a unit of PLN and Masdar in West Java, the Cirata floating photovoltaic power plant is expected to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and is scheduled to begin commercial operation in November 2022.

Financing of the project was arranged through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered Bank, Masdar said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

Construction of the project was already underway, the statement added.  



PLN has said it will start to gradually shut down its coal-fired power plants, which currently meet around 60% of Indonesia’s energy demands.

Around half of Indonesia’s estimated 417 gigawatt (GW) renewable energy potential could come from solar power, but less than 0.1% of that potential has been utilised, senior energy ministry official Dadan Kusdiana said during the online briefing.

Indonesia has 375 lakes or reservoirs where PLN could set up floating solar plants and generate an additional 28 GW of power, he added.


  • Reporting by Reuters


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