Indonesia to Build Solar Projects on Erstwhile Mine Sites

Indonesian coal miner PT Bukit Asam plans to build three solar power projects on former mine sites as part of its expansion into renewable energy, the company’s chief executive Suryo has been quoted as saying in media reports.

State-controlled Bukit Asam has reserved land in West Sumatra, South Sumatra and East Kalimantan provinces, with the company planning to develop solar plants of up to 200 megawatts in each.

Indonesia, the world’s largest thermal coal exporter, aims to reach zero net emissions by 2060 or earlier, a senior minister said, a goal that is expected to involve abandoning coal power.

“At the moment, we are discussing with Perusahaan Listrik Negara (state power company) for these solar plants to be independent producers of energy for the company ,” Suryo said in a virtual briefing for the media.

Although he did not disclose details on the volume of the investment, Suryo said he was not concerned about obtaining financing for the projects.

“Financing for renewables is very open right now in the global financial market, so we don’t think there is any problem,” Suryo said.

Last year, Bukit Asam had more than 2,000 hectares of former mining land on which it could build solar plants, he said.

Earlier this month, UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar and its partner PT PJBI announced that construction work on their joint venture to build Indonesia’s first-ever floating solar power plant had begun. The 145 MW plant is expected to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2022.

As for other solar projects underway in the country, Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group announced in July this year that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam) for the building of a floating photovoltaic system (FPV) and energy storage system (ESS) on a reservoir in Indonesia’s Batam Island for an estimated cost of $2 billion.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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