Malaysia’s leading electricity provider TNB is aiming to invest MYR 9 billion (USD 2.16 billion) annually between 2021 and 2024 to modernize and transform the national grid into a grid of the future, namely, a smart grid that is dependable, resilient to disruption, using digital technology, consistent and flexible. This is also in line with TNB’s aspiration to replace its current usage of fuel with 31% renewable energy (RE) by 2025.
The investment will take place under the Incentive-Based Regulation (IBR) framework and is currently undergoing assessment for approval from the Federal Government. Under IBR, TNB will require an advanced grid that can receive RE by supporting the dynamic two-way energy flow and sustaining stable voltage. It is looking to accept other RE sources like solar, considering the growing number of prosumers (those who consume and produce) in Malaysia, and the emerging trend from its usual consumers.
TNB has undertaken several initiatives under IBR in the past years by implementing all the features used by global energy utilities such as distribution automation, geospatial information system (GIS), and advanced metering infrastructure with a resilient grid system equipped with cybersecurity. In terms of distribution automation (DA), TNB is forecasting to deploy DA to 49% of its distribution substations in four years to modernize the distribution network. The company has also installed smart meters in 1.2 million premises in Melaka state and the Klang Valley region. Due to these efforts, it has achieved the following records in 2020:
- A reduction to 0.08 minutes on the transmission system minutes that measure the minutes of interference due to high voltage.
- A reduction under 60 minutes since 2014 to reach 44.95 minutes under the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which has South Korea’s KEPCO (8.31 minutes) and Brunei’s DES (34 minutes).
- Ranked second in ASEAN by scoring 62.5% after Singapore (75%) in the Smart Grid Index (SGI) 2020. It is planning to achieve 85% to be ranked among the top 20 utilities by 2025.
(Sources: The Edge Markets; The Malaysian Reserve)