The Kansai Electric Power Co Inc (KEPCO) announced Nov 15, 2016, that it has completed a solar power generation system in the Maldives.
Specifically, KEPCO installed a 40kW solar power generation system in Dhiffushi Island of the country. The main industries of the island are fishery, tourism, etc. It has a population of about 1,200, and the peak power demand is about 300kW. Solar electricity generated by the installed system is transmitted to the power grid of the island.
The power grid uses a diesel generator as a power source. For the introduction of solar power generation, how to stabilize the power grid when the amount of electricity generated fluctuates due to weather changes became an issue.
In view of this, KEPCO set up an ice maker, which is necessary for fishery (one of the main industries of the island). When power supply seems to exceed demand due to solar power generation, the ice maker is operated to increase the demand in the aim of making the most of solar electricity and achieving a balance of power supply and demand.
KEPCO carried out the solar project, "Dhiffushi Solar Ice Project," in response to a request for cooperation from the government of the Maldives.
The company has been engaged in the project in cooperation with both the governments of Japan and the Maldives as a "developing country support project" of GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership), an organization of power companies based in various countries for dealing with global issues related to power business such as the development of sustainable energy. Part of the project cost is funded by the Grant Aid for Grassroots Human Security.
The solar power generation system was completed Nov 6, 2016. KEPCO had a ceremony to transfer the facilities including the solar power generation system and the ice maker to the government of the Maldives Nov 14, 2016, in Male (the capital of the Maldives).
While the government of the Maldives is responsible for O&M (operation and maintenance), KEPCO will monitor the operation state of the facilities for the next five years to check the soundness of the facilities and the stabilization of the power grid.