Integrating solar PV power to Sumba Timur power grid

29 May 2019

Integrating variable renewable energy (VRE) such as solar photovoltaic (PV) into State Electricity Company’s (PLN) power grid has been PLN’s main challenge for quite some time. One innovative solution for the challenge is the automatic dispatch system (ADS). USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II) assists PLN to adopt the innovation, which in the long run will help PLN plan distribution grid and generation, as well as distribution grid control to increase the reliability and quality of PLN’s distribution grid operation. On May 15, 2019, USAID ICED II and PLN started a commissioning test to run the installed ADS. The ADS was installed in the 20 kilovolt (kV) Sumba Timur distribution grid because the grid is connected to the 1 Megawatt peak (MWp) solar PV power plant and controls the diesel power plant at Kabanjawa Station. During the test, the ADS performed well and was able to control the grid frequency at stable rate by managing the operation of Kabanjawa diesel power plant to meet the variability of power load/demand and the variability of 1 Mwp solar PV power plant output. USAID ICED II and PLN will continue to observe the situation for two weeks, especially during critical hours (peak hours or high ramp rate hours) to see how the controllers and the generation power plants system balance power supply and power load, if a nearby 1 MWp solar PV power plant supplies electricity intermittently due to weather condition. The success of ADS installation, testing and operation boosted PLN’s understanding and confidence to replicate the innovation to increase VRE integration and penetration in other distribution grids.