GPSC Group - Suranaree University to kick off a 6-MW smart solar energy project, served as a learning center and a sustainable R&D
GPSC has assigned its subsidiary, CHPP, to collaborate with Suranaree University of Technology in the 6-MW Sales of Solar Rooftop-Floating Solar Project, integrating smart energy innovations, including BESS, Block Chain, and AI, to increase efficiency in power generation and distribution in the form of Private Power Purchase Agreement (PPPA). Under this project, smart energy innovations will be integrated with the Provincial Electricity Authority’s power grid for stable and reliable renewable energy solutions. A budget of approximately 150 million baht has been allocated for the project, which will result in more than 510 million baht energy cost saving throughout the 25-year duration of the project. The project will also serve as a smart energy learning center in the northeastern region and will be a model for a smart microgrid city.
Mr. Chawalit Tippawanich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited or GPSC, the innovative power flagship of PTT Group, revealed that a MOU signing ceremony was held today (28 September 2020) for the cooperation of the Solar Energy Research and Development Project between Suranaree University of Technology and Combined Heat and Power Producing Co., Ltd. or CHPP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GPSC, to produce a total of approximately 6 MW of solar power to create a “low carbon university’ for Suranaree University which can help for the university’s utility bills saving through PPPA. The project will also serve as a learning center on smart energy innovations in the northeastern region catering to staff, university students, and the general public. A budget of about 150 million baht has been allocated for the project, which is expected to be ready for commercial operation in 2022.
The project’s installations are divided into three parts which are (1) installation of Mono PERC Half-Cell Module rooftop solar panels with a capacity of 1.68 MW on the roof of the Suranaree Technology Building # 8 of Suranaree University (2) installation of rooftop solar panels with a capacity of 60 kW on the roof of Administration building’s walkway, using Bifacial cells instead of regular roof tiles and (3) installation of solar floating with a total capacity of about 4.312 MW in Sura 1 Reservoir, using special-grade polyethylene floating pontoons, with the UV stabilizer to make it last longer, environmentally-friendly, and recyclable. This technology is developed by PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC), a subsidiary of PTT. The Data Engineering Process will be incorporated to ensure the highest efficiency of the energy management systems.
In addition, the Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with a capacity of 100-200 kWh will be installed at Suranives Dormitory and a blockchain-based smart grid will also be set up for the management of solar power generation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be also included to ensure the real-time performance controlling and tracking and using those data for optimum energy production’s decision-making. For example, meteorological and solar irradiance data can be used to analyze solar power generation capacity in advance to increase accuracy and efficiency in power production.
“The collaboration is very significant to the progress of the research and development of Thailand’s renewable energy innovations by utilizing cutting edge innovations including AI, BESS, and Smart Energy Platform for inter-building energy trading. The project will support the university’s students and staff in their research on renewable energy and serve as a learning center for all interested parties. Moreover, this project will support the development of the technology research which will be a value added to the energy market in the future,” said Mr. Chawalit.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Weerapong Pairsuwan, Rector of Suranaree University of Technology said that the collaboration on the project is targeted at reducing electricity expenses, which currently amount to 100 million baht per year by maximizing the university’s existing resources with the installation of the 4.3 MW floating solar panels at Sura Reservoir and the 1.7 MW rooftop solar panels. Therefore, with the development of the solar renewable energy project whereby the generated solar power can be used instead of electricity from fossil fuels, the university will be able to generate 8.5 million kWh of electricity per year from a solar-powered renewable energy system and save up to 510 million baht per year throughout the 25-year duration of the project. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by up to 115,000 tons and the solar floating system will also aid in the reduction of evaporation of the water in the reservoir by more than 30,000 cubic meters per year.
The project is planned to further serve as a learning center for both the public and the private sectors, as well as for educational organizations and communities to visit and learn as well as gaining understanding of the development of a smart microgrid city and renewable energy production, which can be self-production and efficiently contribute to utility expense’s saving.