Indonesia’s state power monopoly PLN has signed provisional agreements for more than 30 small renewable energy projects on Sumatra Island.
The 37 agreements are for a mix of micro hydropower plants (HPPs), biomass, biogas and solar with a total generating capacity of 283 MW, according to Jakarta news agency Rambu Energy.
The biggest cohort of these will be HPPs, with 150 MW of capacity in total, while the smallest will be solar photovoltaics (PV) with a mere 7 MW, PLN’s Sumatra director Amir Rosidin stated. However, they are not likely to be developed for another 18 months, although Amir did not provide reasons for the long time lag.
The report did not identify the companies with whom PLN had signed MoUs.
Sumatra, the biggest island in the sprawling archipelago country, already has Indonesia’s biggest renewables footprint, with a capacity of 1,506 MW. The Indonesian government has set a target of renewable energy facilities contributing 23% of the national generating capacity by 2025, compared with about 6% now.
Separately, PLN announced on May 23 that it was opening a separate pre-qualification process for bids to develop solar projects also in Sumatra totalling 167.5 MW. The bids would be for a package of six separate plants with capacities ranging from 16 MW to 38 MW, according to a PLN statement.
Jakarta’s Ministry of Energy in April renewed proposals to build an undersea power cable between Sumatra and Java Island to enable surplus electricity to be transmitted from Java. It said Sumatra was expected to experience power shortages without action to improve supply.
This week, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) also announced that it intended to offer 12 new geothermal licences during 2017. Five areas, with a total of 330 MW of resources, will be issued through a tender process, while seven will be given directly to state-backed firms such as PLN, Pertamina and Geo Dipa. The auction process is expected to begin in June.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s power companies continue to reach out to international developers and investors. PLN is undertaking a feasibility study in conjunction with Masdar of the United Arab Emirates for possible new solar power projects in Java, the Indonesian news service Katadata said. In March, a government-to-government agreement between Indonesia and France also established the French Renewable Energy Group (FREG) in Jakarta to “identify and develop renewable energy projects” in Indonesia.