Projects Run-of-river hydropower

Renewable Energy for The Island of Sumatra

Objective: Climate change mitigation and community benefits with run-of-river hydropower

Located in the southern, rural part of Indonesia's largest island, Sumatra, this grid-connected hydro project generates renewable electricity from the nearby Musi River, replacing fossil fuel-based power. The project continues to support local jobs and new income streams, and has helped fund infrastructure improvements as well as a reforestation program in the project area.

The Context

Covered by dense tropical forests, the Indonesian island of Sumatra is home to numerous species and provides fertile ground for growing rice and other commodities such as coffee, cacao, cinnamon, and palm sugar. New employment opportunities and economic activities are limited due to lack of infrastructure and poor access to electricity. At the same time, the growing demand for energy poses a threat to the unique ecosystem of the island.

The Project

This project is a grid-connected, run-of-river hydro plant built on the upper reaches of the Musi River, near the port city of Bengkulu. The hydro plant uses a natural height difference of about 400 meters to generate 210 MW worth of renewable electricity. To further safeguard the natural landscape, a reforestation program has been set up in the catchment area. Local communities, farmers, and NGOs are also engaged in the development of the project through annual stakeholder meetings, earning the project the coveted Social Carbon certification.

The Benefits

This project tackles the problems of poor access to employment and energy, as well as unsustainable economic development in Indonesia. Quality jobs and upskilling opportunities have been created in a rural region historically dominated by farming. Project revenue has been reinvested into supporting a local orphanage and building new roads, bridges and a traditional market place, giving local farmers better access to both their paddy fields and additional income streams.

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