Cirata Solar Floating Photovoltaic (FPV) Power Plant is located in the Citara Reservoir in Java, Indonesia. (Credit: MASDAR)
The first phase of the project, was opened in November 2023. (Credit: MASDAR)
The green energy produced by the floating photovoltaic (FPV) power project will power 50,000 homes. (Credit: DNV)

The Cirata Solar Floating Photovoltaic (FPV) Power Plant in Indonesia is the largest floating solar power plant in Southeast Asia.

The first phase of the project, which has a capacity of 145MWac (192MWp), was opened in November 2023. It entailed an investment of approximately $129m.

The green energy produced by the floating photovoltaic (FPV) power project will power 50,000 homes while offsetting 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

It is developed by a joint venture of UAE-based renewable energy company Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Indonesia’s PLN Nusantara Power (PLN NP) (previously PT PJB).

In September 2023, Masdar and PLN NP agreed to develop Phase II of Cirata, which will have an additional capacity of up to 500MW.

Cirata Solar Project Location 

The Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant is located in Indonesia’s West Java province.

The project was built on a 250-hectare plot within the 6,200-hectare Cirata Reservoir of an existing hydropower plant.

Cirata Floating Solar PV Power Plant Background

In July 2017, PT PJB and Masdar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner on finding sustainable solutions to Indonesia’s energy demand.

The two entities signed a project development agreement (PDA) to develop a floating solar photovoltaic project on the Cirata reservoir in November 2020. This led to the formation of a joint venture (JV) PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE) to facilitate the development of the project in December 2020.

The JV partners announced the financial close of the project in August 2021. It was arranged through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank. Construction works began at the same time.

The Indonesian government also designated the Cirata Floating PV plant a National Strategic Project (PSN).

In September 2023, Masdar and PLN NP signed an agreement to triple the capacity of the Cirata solar FPV plant. Phase II is expected to increase the project’s capacity by an additional 500MW.

Cirata Solar Project Details

The project’s solar installations are equipped with fixed-tilt PV technology.

The FPV modules are mounted on floats moored to the bed of the Cirata reservoir, and will be connected to an onshore high-voltage substation via electrical cables. The onsite 150/20kV PV substation will then transfer the renewable energy to PLN’s 150 kV interconnection facilities.

The inverters will convert the DC solar energy to AC electricity.

Additionally, the floating panels will help in reducing evaporation from the reservoir, boosting water availability for irrigation and limiting the growth of algae.

Cirata Solar FPV Power Plant is expected to create 800 jobs and also help Indonesia increase its renewable energy mix.

Offtake Agreement

In January 2020, Masdar signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PT PLN Nusantara Renewables, a subsidiary of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) (PLN), the state-owned electricity company in Indonesia, with an agreed tariff of 5.8179 cUSD/kWh.

Contractors Involved

Engineering and consulting company Tractebel was selected as a Project Management Consultant (PMC) to support PMSE during the execution of the Cirata FPV plant.

DNV, an independent energy expert and assurance provider, was engaged as the Lender’s Technical Advisor during the development phase of the project.

DNV was involved in pre-construction due diligence and its responsibilities included undertaking site studies, estimating solar resource data and energy yield, and reviewing the financial model’s technical assumptions.

It also reviewed the project design, technology, PPA, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract and contractor, the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract, plan, and operator for the project, and evaluated the environmental and social impact assessments to ensure its compliance with international standards.

Umbra acted as the legal counsel for the drafting and negotiation of the PPA signed in January 2021.

Civil engineering company POWERCHINA was associated with the development of the Cirata floating solar PV project.

The scope of the project included the design, procurement, construction of the PV plant field, and set-up station, transmission line, and the expansion bays of the opposite existing substation, including the operation and maintenance in the first two years.