Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PJB) and Abu Dhabi-based energy company Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) have signed a project development agreement (PDA) for a 200MW floating solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Indonesia.

PJB is the subsidiary of the state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). The agreement marks the entry of Masdar into South East Asia.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “The agreement with PT PJB for the world’s largest floating solar power plant demonstrates Masdar’s ambition as a global renewable energy leader and the strength of our industry partnerships.”

The floating solar plant will span across an area of 225 hectares on the top of the Cirata Reservoir in the West Java province.

It will be installed on 700,000 floats moored to the bed of the Cirata reservoir and linked to an onshore high-voltage substation through electrical cables.

Apart from generating solar power, the floating plant will also give shading against the sun, thereby bringing down evaporation levels at the reservoir and curbing the growth of algae.

Built on the Citarum River, the 6,000-hectare Cirata Reservoir is an artificial dam. It houses a 1GW hydroelectric power station named as Cirata Power Station, which is operated by PJB.

PJB president director Iwan Agung Firstantara said: “We believe this project development agreement is a milestone in the development of other floating PV solar power plants; this 200MW project will be the largest project of its kind in Indonesia and PJB-Masdar will be a pioneer of floating PV technology.”

According to Masdar, one of the benefits of opting for floating solar power in tropical countries such as Indonesia is that it facilitates renewable energy development in forested regions that are otherwise not suitable for conventional solar power.

Masdar, further adds, that if the Cirata floating PV project is deployed successfully, then it would enable similar installations of floating solar power plants on 60 other reservoirs in Indonesia.

Image: Signing ceremony of the new Indonesian floating project. Photo: courtesy of MASDAR.