HVDC GREEN: HVDC GRid for intErconnEcting Nusantara


Start date: 1 September, 2021 End date: 31 August, 2024 Project type: Research projects in countries with targeted development cooperation (earlier Window 2) Project code: 20-M02AAU Countries: Indonesia Thematic areas: Energy, Lead institution: Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark Partner institutions: Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Indonesia PT PLN (Persero), Indonesia Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Filipe Faria da Silva Total grant: 4,662,139 DKK

Project summary

Indonesia electricity demand is to increase 76% in the next 10 years. As of today, the majority of electricity consumption is in Java, where the majority of people (56%) and industry locates. Currently, 69.5% of the energy in Java already comes from coal-fired power plants. Indonesia should reduce the use of coal due to negative impacts on local environment and health such as: CO2 emission, decrease in fish catches and agricultural yields, and premature deaths. One way is to use renewable energy sources (RES). However, Java has limited space and resources, while other islands have large potential (up to 209 GW) and low demand. HVDC-VSC technology has the ability to transmit large amounts of power with high degree of flexibility and reliability. In the Indonesian context, the technology shows very high potential, because it can transmit large quantities of power between electrical islands and over wide water bodies. HVDC links would allow transmitting carbon-neutral power from islands where its generation is more efficient and viable to those with high consumption, while improving the grid reliability by increasing the level of interconnection.

However, existing HVDC links connect to strong AC grids (grids with high generation/consumption and well interconnected) or to generation islands, as offshore wind farms. Island grids in Indonesia with good potential for RES are weak grids and existing HVDC control strategies will underperform or not operate. To implement an HVDC link in these conditions requires a radical new approach. To adapt existing techniques is not enough. It is necessary to research new control principles for implementing this technological solution in Indonesia.

This leads to the project main research question: How to implement an efficient and reliable HVDC technology connecting the main Indonesia islands, when accounting the low grid strength, for allowing the replacement of coal generation by RES in Indonesia?


First year report
In the first months of work, the HVDC GREEN project has been developing the tools and frameworks that are essential for performing good research. These are the main achievements:
-A state-of-the-art paper on the main challenges of developing a HVDC grid in Indonesia is mostly finished and it will be submitted to peer-review.
-The four HVAC grids of the main Indonesian islands have been modelled for dynamic studies. This is one of the main milestones in the project and the models can now be used for developing and assessing the new control strategies that are being developed.
-The HVDC grid has been defined and power-flow studies have been performed, in order to define the first limits. A new method for assessing and optimising the voltage limits for DC grid operation and expansion is proposed and it is being validated. A paper is being written and it will soon be submitted for peer-reviewing.

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