West Sumatran geothermal energy potential estimated at 1,600 MW

Lake Maninjau crater lake, West Sumatra, Indonesia (source: flickr/ Indrani Soemardjan, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 20 Feb 2018

The provincial government of West Sumatra in Indonesia, sees large untapped geothermal development potential that could supply power to the province and through the national transmission grid.

The provincial Government of West Sumatra in Indonesia sees potential for geothermal development on up to 16 sites around six mountains in the province.

As reported locally, West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno says that “In total there are 16 geothermal hotspots that can be developed to generate electrical energy … with development potential exceeding 1,600 MW.”

So far only a fraction of that has been looked at for development. PT Supreme Energy is developing the Muara Laboh geothermal project in South Solok and PT Hitay Daya Energy a geothermal project near Talang Mountain in Solok District.

But there is more potential, e.g. in Mount Tandikek, Mount Singgalang, and Mount Talamau which so far has not seen any development. “West Sumatra has the potential to develop that energy, because West Sumatra is surrounded by 60% of protected forest, so the energy sector is abundant,” said Irwan.

According to him, the current electricity needs in the area are met through hydroelectric power plants located in Maninjau, Singkarak, and micro hydro power plants (PLTMH), which are widely developed in isolated areas by utilizing rivers.

He said the electricity needs of the people of West Sumatra is only about 460 MW. However, from the number of existing plants capable of generating electricity up to 760 MW or 300 MW surplus which is included in the national transmission grid.

“If calculated electricity needs with existing generating capacity, West Sumatra has surplus. But in reality there are still many areas that lack electricity, one of the Mentawai Islands, “he said.

Hence, he asked the House of Representatives Commission VII in charge of energy along with the central government to prioritize the development of electricity potential in the area, as well as to make energy distribution.

Source: Bisnis