For the past few decades, CLP Power has been putting more intelligence into its grid to ensure the reliability and efficiency of electricity supply in Hong Kong.
By integrating ICT with conventional power grid, the company conducts real-time monitoring of power stations to timely identify potential faults for maintenance at lower costs.
“At our transmission and distribution network, intelligent systems featuring self-healing capability significantly shortening the power restoration time from several minutes to less than one second,” said Tung-Keung Chiang, COO, CLP Power Hong Kong.
For business and industrial consumers, however, the smart grid offers incentives such as the demand response programs that help them to manage their energy consumption and lower their bill.
“They can receive incentives by reducing their electricity consumption during demand peaks. Customers can choose to switch off or reschedule the operation of certain equipment themselves,” Chiang said.
Building an integrated IoT platform
Taking things up a notch, CLP Power has developed an integrated IoT platform to facilitate information exchange between systems of smart grid in a smart city.
Now one of the core components of its smart grid, the company’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is composed of smart meters situated at the edge of the power network nearest to the customer’s end, and a range of telecoms technologies and data management systems, which enable two-way communication between CLP Power and its customers.
The utility company launched in May 2013 an 18-month pilot study on AMI called myEnergy Pilot Programme. It involved a sample of around 3,000 residential customers living in private and public housing and 1,400 SME customers located in shopping malls and industrial centers.
“Hong Kong has a unique cityscape – a high density urban area with many tall buildings. Meters in Hong Kong are often installed in the concrete core of large building in dedicated meter rooms across floors, which bring complex technical challenges for installing smart meters and recovering data efficiently and effectively,” Chiang recalled as one of their major challenges.
The program provides customers offerings like Time of Use Tariff and Summer Saver Rebate with an aim to study the effectiveness in changing consumption behaviors.
“By providing a variety of services, AMI empowers customers to make informed decisions on their electricity consumption. Many took active steps to reduce their electricity use,” Chiang said, adding that the response of residential customers was more encouraging which hints at more opportunities for change.
He added: “Customers can adjust their habits and plan their electricity usage based on different rates at different times to enjoy potential savings.”
Meanwhile, Chiang revealed that CLP Power is now in discussion with the government on the way forward.
“We are committed to support the government in preparing for a full rollout of AMI deployment in Hong Kong.”