Case Study: Intelligent Renewables (Smart Solar)

Regional Utility Drives Renewables Reliability and Customer Satisfaction

How can intelligent technologies help a utility  meet regional needs for reliable renewable energy?

With advanced weather forecasting that optimizes the operation of 3.5 GW hydropower assets.

SEB meets regional needs with more productive renewable assets.

  • 3.5 GW

    hydropower assets optimized

  • 3-day to 7-month

    high-accuracy forecasts optimizes near-term production and long-term planning

  • 72-hour ahead + >80% accuracy

    lightning forecast = faster response, lower costs

  • 2.2M kWh

    energy savings per year

About Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).

SEB’s Challenge.

Sarawak Energy Berhad is an energy development company and a vertically integrated power utility, with 5.2K employees, a consumer base of 700K account holders, and 3M customers across Sarawak. SEB’s vision is achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak by meeting the region’s need for reliable and renewable energy.

 

SEB’s energy predominantly comes from Sarawak’s rich hydropower resources, making its energy supply environmentally friendly and sustainable. The company is the primary electricity provider in Sarawak as well as Sarawak’s largest employer of professional Sarawak talent.

SEB key role is to provide reliable, safe, and competitively priced power. As the utility depends primarily on hydropower, it is subjected to high fluctuations in energy production due to weather variations.

 

In addition, extreme meteorological events often cause power outages, accounting for >60% of total power outage. Such events negatively impact the community and economy, making the issue a priority. To overcome these challenges as well as help SEB become a fully digital utility by 2025, SEB sought innovative technologies and expertise to transform.

What SEB Achieved.
Envision Digital helped SEB maximize renewable energy network productivity.

Maximize hydropower production capacity with high-accuracy weather forecasts.

Envision Digital deployed its proprietary weather forecasting system (EnWeather) to provide highly accurate weather forecasts. Combined with the inflow and management system (Vista DSS) from HATCH, SEB can now get a 3-day ahead inflow forecast with >85% accuracy, and a 7-day ahead forecast with >70% accuracy. This has allowed SEB to better manage its hydro dam water levels – maximizing hydropower production capacity.

Act on insights to maximize hydropower operations and revenue.

At the same time, SEB can now act on insights from the inflow forecasting system to optimize operations, minimize the costs of meeting total system load, and maximize revenue.

Enable longer-term planning to improve energy reliability and optimize operations.

Additionally, a long-term 7-month forecast is issued by EnWeather monthly. The long-term forecast of daily rainfall for each catchment helps SEB in its long-term planning to improve energy reliability and operations.

Mitigate lightning risk to minimize damage, reduce outages and cost.

EnWeather also provides real-time, high resolution (3km x 3km horizontally), 72-hour ahead lightning forecasts for all transmission lines in Sarawak, Malaysia, with accuracy of >80%. Based on a high-performance computing system (HPC) that combines advanced weather modeling, cutting-edge AI algorithms, and customer-specific observation data, this highly effective warning system triggers notifications for lightning events that endanger transmission lines. This helps SEB respond faster to minimize potential damage. Reducing maintenance costs and outages. And improving crew safety, energy reliability, plus end user satisfaction.