The Indonesian government is tendering as many as 80 projects related to the development of solar power plants in an attempt to boost the country’s renewable energy supplies.

The projects, with an average investment of 2.2 million USD each, will have a combined capacity of up to 140 MW, according to Rida Mulyana, director general of Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s renewable energy department.

The ministry is expected to announce the winning bidders of the projects by December.

The solar plants’ construction will take about six months, he said, adding that most will be located in eastern Indonesian sites, such as in Papua, West Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara. Most of the power plants will have a 1 MW capacity while the biggest project will be located in Jayapura, Papua, with a 6 MW capacity.

Earlier this year, the government inaugurated the largest capacity solar power plant in Karangasem, Bali. The plant has a 1 MW capacity and cost 26 billion Rp in investment.

Indonesia has put aside 400 billion Rp (35.2 million USD) on the development of solar power plants this year.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said despite abundant potential in renewable energy, the country remains heavily dependent on the fossil fuel for its electricity supply.

Currently, fossil fuel is still the largest input material of Indonesia’s energy sector. About 46 percent of the country’s annual power output comes from thermo power plants, while 25 percent is from gas, 17 percent from oil, 7 percent from hydropower plants and just 5 percent from geothermal energy.-VNA