South Korea’s KEPCO ready to export smart grid technologies


KEPCO export smart grid technologiesSouth Korea’s state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) has unveiled a strategy to turn its smart grid technologies into a global export.

A report by the Korea Times stated the company unveiled a three-stage plan during an electrical power trade conference on Monday in a bid to “develop smart grids into a business model and an export item”, according to Hwang Woo-hyun, vice president of KEPCO.

KEPCO will spend US$155 million between 2015 and 2017 on developing technologies that will reduce spending on power, as well as boosting energy saving and efficiency, Mr Hwang said.

Smart country, smart region

The electric utility envisages applying smart grid technologies across the country by 2030 for power generation, distribution and consumption, according to a KEPCO spokeswoman and at the same time will try to export smart technologies to developing nations in Southeast Asia.

Smart grid deal

In September, KEPCO signed an agreement to sell its smart grid technologies to the Canadian power company PowerStream in its first export of this kind.

Under the deal, the two companies will cooperate to develop a large-scale application of the technology for North America.

Smart grid vision

In 2011, KEPCO earmarked investment of US$7.18 billion in its smart grid business by 2030.

Of the total investment will be spent in the next five years, to upgrade power transmission and distribution systems and switch meters, the company said in a statement.

South Korea said in early 2010 that it aimed for spending of 27.5 trillion won over the next two decades on smart grids to make electricity distribution more efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save US$26 billion in energy imports.

Smart energy vision

Vehicle to grid South Korea KEPCO pilotEarlier this year, the utility announced it would soon be buying electricity stored in car batteries through a vehicle-to-grid pilot scheme planned for the end of this year.

The South Korean government is backing the plan to allow plug-in electric vehicle owners to sell power to KEPCO.

Electricity will be delivered to the grid via KEPCO’s power exchange market, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said this week.

The government will revise related laws to smooth the vehicle-to-grid program by the end of this year, while the state-run electricity distributor will design a new price-charging system.