The Ban Pha Dan village has long lacked access to electricity because it is surrounded by a wildlife reserve where power poles are forbidden.
Redflow managing director and chief executive Tim Harris said the success of the Ban Pha Dan system demonstrated the benefits of solar-powered microgrids with energy storage for remote communities in many Redflow target markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, southern Africa and even remote mining communities in Australia.
The Ban Pha Dan project was backed by the Thai Government, with the village now using solar cells to harvest energy and a high-performance hybrid battery system, including ZBM2s, to store energy for a village microgrid that is separated from the national electricity distribution network.
The microgrid project was initiated by Thailand’s Energy Ministry and the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Association with financial support from the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund.
“This solar-powered microgrid with energy storage shows how to provide environmentally-friendly energy for remote communities," he said.
“Without the cost and pollution of diesel generators, this system gives local people access to energy for lighting, refrigeration and water pumps, which significantly improves their quality of life.”
Thailand’s Energy Minister Dr Siri Jirapongphan visited Ban Pha Dan to inspect the new microgrid and energy storage system in mid-January. Later that month, the Thailand National Energy Policy Council, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved Thailand’s Power Development Plan, which prioritises the development of renewable energy sources for the period 2018-2037. Dr Jirapongphan said that non-fossil energy would account for 35% of total capacity by 2037.
TSUS Group installed the ZBM2 batteries to store solar-generated energy that power the community school, town hall and temple while the lithium batteries supply energy for individual houses, each of which Redflow says uses less than one-fortieth of the daily power consumed in an average Australian house. The locally-produced energy also enables villagers to power water-supply systems for drinking and agriculture.