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Indonesia To Construct the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm

Since 2018, floating solar farms have gained popularity, particularly in countries with high population density and competing uses for limited available land. These are also very efficient because installing solar panels on water helps to cool the equipment.

To address this, the Batam Indonesia Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam) signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to construct the world’s largest floating solar power plant (PLTS) in Batam. The first MoU, worth approximately US$2 billion, was signed by BP Batam chairman and co-founder and CEO of Singapore’s Largest Clean Energy Service Provider.

Given the global threat of climate change, the agreements highlight BP Batam’s commitment to renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

– Batam Indonesia Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam)

The second MoU, worth US$470 million, was signed with PT Toba Bara Energi on August 12th, in the presence of PT Toba Bara Energi director and colleagues, and will see the construction of a floating solar park in Duriangkang Dam, Batam’s largest dam, in collaboration with Singapore’s Largest Clean Energy Service Provider. The approximately 1,600 hectares of solar panels are expected to generate up to 2.2 GWp of electricity with a 4,000 MWh energy storage system, making it the world’s largest floating solar park.

The floating solar panels are installed in the Duriangkang Reservoir, which was once a saltwater bay. It is Batam’s largest water reservoir, with a capacity of 101.2 million cubic metres. More than half of the freshwater is taken up by the reservoir. Floating solar panels reduce evaporation, allowing more water to remain in the reservoir while keeping the solar panels cool. This allows the panel to generate more clean energy, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Construction will begin in 2022 and will be finished in 2024. Singapore’s Largest Clean Energy Service Provider expects the solar park to generate more than 2,600 GWh of electricity per year, which is more than 1.8 million tonnes of carbon per year, in collaboration with Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam), the operator of an Indonesian free trade zone. In addition to the solar park, Singapore’s Largest Clean Energy Service Provider will establish an academy to serve as a recruitment and training facility for the solar park.

PT Toba Bara Energi will construct the second floating solar park in Tembesi Dam, with a potential generating capacity of 333 MWp. Floating solar parks have several advantages, one of which is that they help to maintain water levels and reduce evaporation, which is important because Batam is reliant on rainwater collected by dams. The water also helps to cool down the temperature of the solar panels, allowing them to work more efficiently. Apart from the Duriangkang and Tembesi dams, Batam currently has four other dams that can be used. Given the global threat of climate change, the agreements highlight BP Batam’s commitment to renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Even though solar farms require a large amount of land, they are typically built-in rural areas. To obtain approval for the construction of solar farms, extensive planning procedures are required. Planning entails considering the suitability of the site, relevant renewable energy targets, and any impact on the surrounding community.

Solar energy, on the other hand, is a clean, safe, and renewable source of energy. Solar farms are a relatively efficient and unobtrusive method of producing electricity. The only disadvantage of this technology is that solar farms take up a lot of space and are expensive. However, the advantages of solar farms far outweigh the disadvantages of their high installation costs and other limitations.

Solar farms may be the future of global energy sources, with innovative ideas from various scientists being developed to overcome the limitations. Solar energy is also expected to contribute a quarter of the world’s energy in the not-too-distant future, according to scientists.

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