PVTIME – LONGi, the world leading solar technology company headquartered in Xi’an, China, has partnered with Symbior Solar and Blue Solar to complete a 72kWp PV + 266kWh ESS + 60 kVA genset micro-grid system at Koh Jik island, Thailand.
The Koh Jik ReCharge project is initiated and developed by Tanai Potisat, Founder of ReCharge Energy. Symbior and Blue Solar are the project investors. Apart from setting up the system, Koh Jik ReCharge also uplifts the local community to set up tariff structure and manage daily operation. The project showcases a new generation mini-grid for the electrification of Thai off-grid islands and a proof-of-concept for private-community social enterprise model.
Koh Jik is a small fisherman island located in Chanthaburi province, and is one of the first islands in Thailand to build a renewable energy micro-grid, the island originally previously got gets its power mainly from diesel generation. The first micro-grid project was completed in 2004, although the project was heavily subsidized by public funding, still around 90% of the power generated was still from diesel.
After conducting a detailed study of the island’s load and consumption habits, the result of an optimized system should consist of 72kWp high efficient solar modules, 266kWh lithium-ion battery and a back-up diesel genset. The ReCharge project design allows battery storage to replace diesel consumption, making it possible to achieve 95% share of the load provided by solar energy.
With the new system in place, the cost of energy generated reduces from the original 30~50 THB/kWh to 13THB/kWh, and reduces monthly diesel consumption by 80% from 2,000 to 240 litres. Notably, the ReCharge project managed to sell its carbon emission reductions and positive environmental benefits to a global enterprise, given back to the community as a retail electricity tariff rebate at 1THB/kWh.
Dennis She, Vice President of LONGi Group, commented, “We are happy to be a part of such a flagship project and appreciate Symbior and Blue Solar’s trust in LONGi. Micro-grid project is extremely difficult to develop as its business model is usually unsustainable. We hope that Koh Jik ReCharge project can set a good example in the region and more people can benefit from rural electrification.”
Tanai Potisat, Founder of ReCharge Energy, commented, “We are proud to announce the completion of Koh Jik electrification with solar energy. Koh Jik ReCharge project sets course to change the paradigm, a living proof that community operated microgrids can be technical and financially sustainable in the long-run. For this, we and the community are confident that highly efficient LONGi panels will be able to support and produce electricity for the community for the next 25 years.”