USAID holds online knowledge sharing on renewables-powered microgrid for Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources

24 June 2020

In collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’ Directorate General of Electricity (MEMR DJK), USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II) held the second batch of a virtual workshop on Knowledge Sharing for Power System Modernization and Smart Grid Technologies and Programs on June 18, 2020.

The workshop aimed to increase the Ministry staff’s knowledge and understanding amid the transition toward a more modern power system. More than 100 participants from various units within MEMR, the Indonesia State Electricity Company (PLN) and its subsidiaries participated in the online knowledge sharing.

State Electricity Company (PLN) staff from Sumba Timur presented the successful implementation of automatic dispatch system (ADS), a control system that USAID ICED II installed. Among the key results from the installed control system were significant reduction in blackouts, ability to maintain stable power supply, and better use of power generated by a grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. In January 2020, officials from MEMR DJK and Ministry of Finance (MoF) visited the installed control system in Sumba Timur and appreciated the successful implementation. The acceptance will also pave the way for encouraging PLN to replicate and scale up the demonstration as part of the government’s objective of modernizing Indonesia’s power system and achieving the target for renewable energy generation.

Dede Subakti, a member of Indonesian diaspora in the U.S. and Director of Operations Engineering Service of California Independent System Operator (CAISO), shared the company’s experience in developing microgrids using renewables, which began with developing pilot projects in universities through government-support grants. In 2017, CAISO eventually developed a microgrid roadmap with the focus on improving power system resiliency and reducing blackouts in isolated areas, especially disaster-affected areas. CAISO is also trying to find the best commercial scheme for the renewables-powered microgrid, while addressing various technical challenges such as to provide fast and accurate response from the microgrid to meet the energy needs.

The Ministry’s Director General appreciated the knowledge sharing session and looked forward to developing a smart grid framework, roadmap and system, focusing first on Java island, as smart grid program is part of Indonesia’s national strategic projects.