Solar giant LONGi has supplied high efficiency modules to a micro-grid system at Koh Jik island, Thailand to electrify the off-grid island.
The 72kWp PV + 266kWh ESS + 60 kVA genset micro-grid project, named the Koh Jik Recharge project, was completed in partnership with Symbior Solar and Blue Solar, the project’s investors.
Initiated and developed by Tanai Potisat, founder of ReCharge Energy, the project also uplifts the local community to set up tariff structure and manage daily operation. It is also regarded as a proof-of-concept for private-community social enterprise model.
Koh Jik, a small fisherman island in Chanthaburi province, used to be primarily powered by diesel. The island installed its first micro-grid renewable energy project in 2004 to reduce its reliance on diesel to around 90%.
The new project has further helped decarbonize the island’s micro-grid.
“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,” said LONGi in a statement.
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 electricity has been reduced from 30~50 THB/kWh to 13THB/kWh. The island’s monthly diesel consumption has been slashed by 80% from 2,000 to 240 litres.
Dennis She, Vice President of LONGi Group, said, “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, said, “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.”
Notably, the ReCharge project has sold its carbon emission reductions to a global enterprise, given back to the community as a retail electricity tariff rebate at 1THB/kWh.