How efficiency can be increased in MEA's Smart Metro Grid
The emerging global trends in low carbon economy is paving the way to a new energy system fully-integrated in renewable energy, grid connectivity, battery storage, and electrical vehicles. Low carbon economy, as part of the mitigation strategy on climate change, presents multiple benefits to ecosystem resilience, trade, energy security, industrial competitiveness, employment, and health in the long run.
According to the ‘Energy Interconnection in Asean for Sustainable and Resilient Societies’ seminar, building energy interconnection in Asean and beyond is the key to advancing clean energy development.The seminar was jointly held by Asean Centre for Energy, the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organisation and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Asean countries need to move away from fossil-fuel dependence while boosting alternative renewable energy in a sustainable manner to ensure that economic development is in line with efforts to reduce carbon emissions and conserve the environment.
Following Thailand 4.0 initiative where smart cities and efficiency are the main focus of the country’s economy and energy transformation, the country could be a benchmark for Asean and its continuous commitment in using more renewables to achieve 20.7 GW of renewable power in 2037. The pace of digitalisation in energy is also increasing in Thailand over the past years. The IEA’s Digitalisation and Energy report indicates that digitalisation could save 5 per cent of annual power generation cost.
Thailand’s Smart Grid Development Master Plan with its four key strategic areas – smart energy, smart system, smart city and smart learning, aims to enhance the reliability and efficiency of the country’s grid by using advanced technologies and communication systems integrating with electric power systems through smart meters and smart appliances. It is also designed to help utility firms cut energy usage at peak hours, reduce their carbon footprints by adopting renewable energy resources, and to bring sustainable economic development.
Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), as one of three government power utility providers, has recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Forth Corporation Pcl and Yip In Tsoi to construct a Smart Metro Grid system. Costing Bt1,149 million, the project, scheduled for completion in 2022, will install 33,265 household smart digitised meters with two-way communication between the grid and customers in various phases in the pilot areas of Bangkok, Samut Prakarn and Nonthaburi.
Oracle, as the project’s utility software solution supplier, will provide the infrastructure systems and data management business solutions which cover Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Transformer Load Management (TLM), Outage Management System (OMS), Load Aggregator Management System (LAMS), System Integration using Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), Utilities Meter Data Management System (MDMS), Utilities Network Management, Utilities Analytics, Oracle Database and Middleware, Oracle SUN H/W.
AMI and MDMS are basic smart grid components. AMI collects and transmits smart meter data between devices and MDMS facilitates data collection, storage and management. The smart grid system applies AMI sensing, measurement and control devices with two-way communications to the power grid’s production, transmission, distribution and consumption segments to enable real-time pricing, monitoring and conservation. These technologies communicate information about grid conditions to system users, operators and automated devices, making it possible to respond dynamically to grid condition changes.
Oracle’s managing director, Taveesak Saengthong told Thailandtoday.co that Oracle has been working with Forth Corporation Pcl and Yip In Tsoi, with proven track records in many MEA projects. Smart Metro Grid project with data analytic tools will enable MEA and Thais in achieving real-time data with greater efficiency. For example, MEA monitors the electricity distributed to the users closely, studies the household/enterprise behaviour patterns of electricity consumption for their capacity planning and repair & maintenance management, diagnoses the outages and malfunction with respective proactive and preventive actions, safeguards electricity stealing by third parties with more effective protection mechanism and reduce opportunity losses, as well as optimising resources based on electricity usage during peak and off-peak periods in various customer segments. In the near future, consumers can compare electricity cost during different periods for utility billing management in MEA website or mobile applications. Also, MEA can offer new services and other new business models to cope with fast-changing consumer needs.
Currently, MEA Smart Life mobile application provides electricity billing data, allowing users to check electricity recording, payment due dates, various payment channels such as credit cards, internet banking, QR code, counter services, power outage and downtime notification, new electricity set up request, users incidences/complaints with photo attachment.