About 130 kilometers southeast of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, will reach the Chilata hydropower station reservoir in West Java province. Surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, it is home to Indonesia's first large-scale floating photovoltaic project, the Chirata Floating Photovoltaic Project (hereinafter called "Chirata"), built by a Chinese company. Above the water, yellow pontoon platforms are equipped with drilling RIGS and sea-floor statics. In the early morning, senior geotechnical engineer Sukri Fitteryadi and more than 10 colleagues carried out an underwater geotechnical survey to design and explore geological data and information for the floating photovoltaic anchorage scheme.
The Kirata project is a joint venture between China Power Construction Corporation, Masdar Energy of the United Arab Emirates and Java Bali Power Generation Investment Corporation of Indonesia, with a total installed capacity of 145 MW on the ac side. The Chinese side is mainly responsible for the construction of the PV field, the 150KV booster station and the delivery line, as well as the design, procurement, construction general contracting and operation and maintenance of the expansion project of the opposite side interval.
Floating PV is a photovoltaic power station built on the water surface by floating structure and anchoring system. Compared with ordinary photovoltaic power stations built on the ground, floating PHOTOVOLTAIC power stations do not occupy land resources, and can be built on lakes, reservoirs, fish ponds, etc. Due to the open water surface, the solar radiation area is uniform and the illumination time is long, which is beneficial to improve the power generation and save the operation and maintenance costs. Covering the water with solar panels reduces evaporation and inhibits algae blooms.
As the largest archipelago country in the world, Indonesia is rich in light resources and abundant in lakes all over the islands. Therefore, the development of floating PHOTOVOLTAIC projects has inherent advantages. At the same time, most lakes already have hydropower facilities and supporting transmission lines, and the newly developed floating PV projects can easily access the existing transmission networks. "When completed, the project is expected to power 50,000 homes, providing an example of renewable energy development," Fittriardi said.
In the middle of summer, Indonesia's climate is especially hot and humid, and the workers are sweating after working on the pontoon platform. In order to do a good job of epidemic prevention and control, the project team not only strengthened protective measures, but also regularly underwent novel coronavirus tests to ensure the prevention and control of the epidemic.
"The development of floating PV projects is important to support renewable energy development in Indonesia." Asad Asad, who is in charge of large projects for Indonesia's state power company, said the Kirata project will improve the Javanese and Balinese energy mix while increasing the capacity of the electricity system, helping the Indonesian government meet its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy.