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Economic Growth and Decarbonization in Indonesia
Supported by East Javafs First Digital Substation

Acceleration of a Digital Transformation Promoting Social Innovation in the Power Systems Field

In a wide range of fields throughout the world, there is accelerated development of state-of-the-art technologies, such as the Internet of things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and ways to store and use big data for analytics, thereby accelerating digital transformation.

Whether the industrial field underpinning economic growth or even the power and energy sectors broadly supporting modern society, the evolution of these digital technologies is rapidly advancing the stable supply of quality power while balancing the supply and demand of power facilities and the entire electric power distribution network.

Digital Substation Project Supporting Economic Growth in East Java

In the midst of this digital transformation, the Indonesian government is promoting the fourth industrial revolution, a recent technological concept aimed at automation, data creation, and computerization in the manufacturing industry, in an effort to become carbon neutral and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060*. The administration has also started construction on a 200-hector industrial estate\which is roughly the size of 42 major metropolitan stadiums\in East Java, which boasts the second-highest population and GDP after the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. As the first project in the region to adopt a digital substation, this new industrial zone aims to generate approximately 5% annual sustainable growth.

Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN; Perusahaan Perseroan (Persero) PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara), a state-owned company tasked with supplying power to Indonesia, decided to set up the first digital substation in East Java at the Sidoarjo Industrial Estate.

PLN decided to build the new substation to stabilize the power transmission and distribution system as well as realize a safe and stable supply of electricity. This digital substation also needed to go one step further to provide sophisticated monitoring and management as well as be the platform for predictive diagnostics and decision making through the use of data. In addition to supporting the growing electric needs of East Java, PLN expected this digital substation to ensure stability and resilience of the supply of electricity for the industrial estate.

PLN selected Hitachi Energy as the partner to make this vision into a reality.

To learn more about why Hitachi Energy won the bid for this project from among many well-known competitors, we spoke with Project Managers Hario Pramoedewanto and Boromeus Sakti.

gHitachi Energy has been present in Indonesia since the 1970s and has been supporting the development of the countryfs energy infrastructure. Hitachi energy has been one of the pioneers in the development of reliable digital substation technologies around the world, including in Indonesiah Hario said. gThis is one of the reasons why PLN evaluated our company with such high marks. I also think PLN saw that Hitachi Energy has the know-how and high level of skills and a very competent Indonesian team that was able to complete this project on schedule.h

The purpose of adopting a digital substation versus a conventional one is to achieve efficient and smart power use in spite of the fluctuating demand of the Sidoarjo Industrial Estate and surrounding areas. As part of the requirements in the contract from PLN, Hitachi Energy faced an extremely tight one-year schedule to not only design but also engineer, deliver and place the digital substation into commercial operation. This project also had the unprecedented and difficult challenge of moving forward in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Success through Cooperation with PLN

Cooperation between the PLN team and Hitachi Energyfs project, engineering, commissioning and customer service teams was very important to succeeding in a project like this with such a tight schedule.

Hitachi Energy built an impeccable organizational structure for project success with the complete design and assembly taking place in Indonesia, supported by production centers in Sweden and Switzerland.
Close coordination between the Hitachi Energy teams, PLN, and the vendors, enabled the project commissioning and start of commercial operations to take place within one month from the start of project execution on August 15, 2021. This success was widely covered on the local tv news.

gEven though PLN had some questions in regard to the new technologies, the decision to appoint Hitachi Energy as the technology provider was made quickly,h Hario said. gWe were able to build a close relationship with PLNfs team, working together mutually towards a common goal ? this was key to our successful completion, despite the challenging pandemic situation, making this project a success.h

Benefits of Adopting a Stable and Resilient Digital Substation

The top priority of PLN in adopting a digital substation was to secure a resilient and stable electric power network within the industrial area. As a strategic industrial zone, the Sidoarjo Industrial Estate had to be able to rapidly recover power even in the event of an issue, such as a power outage caused by a natural disaster or fault in incoming and outgoing lines. The digital substations can also provide another unique benefit of acquiring real-time data about power flowing through the network, which is expected to facilitate more rapid forecasts and faster decision-making.

Boromeus emphasizes these are not the only benefits of a digital substation saying, gConventional substations send data about power to control centers primarily using large quantity multicore copper cables and wires connecting the high-voltage equipment and control panels. By replacing a majority of the cables with optical fiber, we have been able to reduce the copper wiring by close to 80%. This dramatically decreases costs while also reducing the risk of data loss resulting from the use of copper wiring and also dramatically improving the reliability of the substation. The area needed for substation as well as control building is also significantly reduced and cost of civil work also went down. But most importantly using digital technologies level of health and safety of team working in substation have been dramatically elevated through minimized exposure to any harmful voltages.h

The digital substation has not encountered any issues since the start of operations distributing power to every company located at the Sidoarjo Industrial Estate until today. The person in charge at PLN, as well as representative of industrial estate shared their thanks with everyone involved at Hitachi Energy.

Contributions to the Future of Sustainable Energy in Indonesia

gRight now, the government in Indonesia is promoting digital transformation under various government initiatives and we are proud that all of us at Hitachi Energy were able to closely collaborate with PLN on this project,h Boromeus said. gWe are supporting the digital transformation of power systems, and hope we can continue to contribute to the future of sustainable energy in Indonesia.h

Taking advantage of our innovative technologies and the expertise wefve built up over the years, Hitachi Energy will support the sustainable growth of Indonesia and Southeast Asia as a company promoting digital transformation and building a stronger, smarter, and greener grid.

*1: Based on materials from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

  • Date of release: March 2022
  • Edited by Brand & Advertising Group, Communications & Government Relations Department, Energy Business Administration Division, Hitachi, Ltd.

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