PLN strategic procurement director Bagiyo Riyawan said the micro-hydropower plants, which produce less than 10 MW each, would primarily be located outside Java Island and most were slated to begin commercial operation next year.

“Construction of those plants has been started with [individual] capacities ranging from 250 kilowatts [KW] to 3 megawatts,” he said on the sidelines of the Green Energy Forum 2012 at PLN’s Cirata hydropower plant in Purwakarta, West Java, on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, PLN’s renewable energy division head, Muhammad Sofyan, said that PLN was committed to increasing hydroelectric production.

“Our target is we’ll have a total of 12,000 megawatts of additional capacity from hydropower plants across the country by 2025. Of that amount, 65 percent will be built by PLN, while the remaining 35 percent will be constructed by independent power producers [IPPs].”

Currently, around 4,000 MW of electricity in the nation are produced by hydropower plants, a figure which is expected to increase to 10,000 MW by 2020 and to 16,000 MW by 2025. Sofyan predicted that in 2020, the country’s peak power burden would reach 80,000 MW, 12.5 percent of which would be produced by hydro. PLN expects to complete several hydropower plants this year, including the Pesangan and Asahan 3 power plants. Construction of Asahan 3 would start in the near future since the project had obtained necessary permits from the North Sumatra governor, Sofyan said.

In the eastern part of Indonesia, as previously reported, PLN conducted a feasibility study for building hydropower plants in seven locations in Papua.

“In each location, the capacity may hit 100 MW,” Sofyan said.

Several hydropower plant projects with a combined capacity of 1,204 MW were also included into the second phase of PLN’s so-called 10,000 MW fast-track program. In addition to Asahan 3, which is expected to produce 174 MW, the Cisokan power plant is expected to produce 1,000 MW and the Simpang Aur plant is expected to produce 30 MW. Separately, Maryam Ayumi, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s energy conservation chief, said that Indonesia had the potential to generate 75,000 MW from hydro.

“As of today, only around 6 percent of that potential has been utilized,” she said.

“I hope we can boost the development of hydropower plants so that we can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels for electricity.”

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Photo: Jakarta Post