EPPO focused on completing smart-grid project
Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) is continuing with the phased smart-grid plan from 2017-21, aiming to make Thailand the electricity hub of Asean and creating new business for energy producers.
EPPO spokesman Anirut Thanakornmontri said that the Office is working with three electrical authorities: Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand [EGAT], Provincial Electricity Authority [PEA] and Metropolitan Electricity Authority [MEA] in pioneering the Energy Ministry’s smart-grid project.
“The mega-project is divided into four phases: preparation [2015-16], short-term projects [2017-21], medium-term projects [2022-31] and long-term projects [2032-36],” he said. “The short-term projects will include the development of pilot projects to test technical suitability and investment feasibility of each technology.”
Anirut explained that projects in this phase will largely cover expansion of alternative power grids and energy system management, such as the smart-grid initiative in Pattaya that aims to change 116,308 old meters into smart meters within this year, and the microgrid pilot project that aims to create an independent energy ecosystem with built-in energy storage system [ESS] that does not rely on main power lines. “Furthermore, EPPO is also working on research projects for electric vehicles that cover the expansion of EV-charging station network and development of mobile application to manage the charging time,” he added. “The 11 pilot stations scattered nationwide are expected to be operational this April.”
Some projects will be user-focused, such as the PEA’s Power Pack project, which aims to establish portable ESS within users’ homes to support the installation of solar rooftops, which will be more mainstream in the future. “This project has already come up with a 5-kilowatt mini-ESS that could be fitted in the user's house,” he said. “It will be a solution for communities in rural areas and could generate new business opportunities for local power producers.”
“EPPO expects that projects in the short-term phase will collectively help reduce the consumption of electricity from main facilities by at least 300 megawatts through the establishment of at least three microgrids,” Anirut added. “Other benefits of these projects are to reduce power outages and malfunctions, as well as increase the production of renewable energy by at least 15 per cent.”