Taiwan's first island energy grid activated

New smart microgrid in Penghu harnesses solar energy, and next year, wind energy

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The Smart Microgrid will reduce the use of diesel generators. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's newest smart electrical supply network, the Penghu Chimei Smart Microgrid, is up and running as of today in the Chimei township of Penghu Island.

The new microgrid includes a photovoltaic system (PV system), which supplies usable solar power, and includes an energy storage system. If the microgrid runs as planned it will hold the greatest capacity for energy configurations in Taiwan, and will be much cheaper that maintaining diesel generators, according to CNA.

As per the agreement of the Taiwan National Energy Program, Phase II (NEP - II), the Taiwan Power Company and Ministry of Science and Technology collaborated to first install a 155 kilowatts per hour (kWp) PV system. That system was then upgraded to a 200 kWp capacity with a 300 kWp energy storage system. The Penghu Chimei Smart Microgrid is the first large scale smart microgrid on any of Taiwan's outlying islands. 

Next year the Taiwan Power Company plans to add wind power facilities to the Penghu Smart Grid to generate an additional 600 kilowatts of power as well as further expand the PV system capacity to 1,200 kWp and the energy storage system to 2,000 kWp. 

The smart microgrid stands to save the island an estimated NT$5 million a year (US$167,000) that would otherwise be spent using and maintaining diesel generators.