On March 3, 2022, the power supply to as many as 5.49 million users was affected by operational errors at the Hsinta Power Plant. Considering Taiwan's limited land area and population density, along with a 54% growth in peak load over the past 20 years, this incident highlighted the inadequate resiliency of the current power grid. In response to the new challenges and to address the insufficient resilience, Taipower has proposed an Enhancing Power Grid Resilience Construction Plan. Over a 10-year period, an investment of NT$564.5 billion will be made to comprehensively review the grid from a resilience perspective, gradually improve grid decentralization, reduce risks associated with excessive concentration, and promote regional resilience and national integration. The aim is to enhance Taipower’s ability to respond to accidents and restore stable operations within a short timeframe.
Promoting distributed power grid projects to reduce centralized grid risks
|The total budget for distributed power grid projects amounts to NT$437.9 billion, making it Taipower’s largest and most complex undertaking. It includes five major dimensions: power supply to industrial parks, decentralized green energy supply, clustering of key nodes, increasing distribution of nodes, and enhancing regional dispatch. Taipower will integrate the concept of local generation and nearby utilization into its power grid planning, enabling direct supply of natural gas-generated power to science parks and industrial parks. Increasing the integration capacity of offshore wind power in the northern region and solar power in the southern region will reduce the concentration of power sources and facilitate the effective utilization of renewable energy, and ultimately achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emission. In addition, the construction of additional switching yards at important hub substations will help mitigate the risks associated with a centralized power supply. Furthermore, the construction of new substations and the addition of new power distribution nodes is necessary to enable independent operation of regional power grids, accelerate power restoration and minimize the scope and impact of large-scale power outages.
In the planning of the 2050 net-zero emissions blueprint, there is a significant shift towards renewable energy as the primary source of power generation. Currently, a large number of interconnected renewable energy sites are under construction and concentrated in the central and southern regions of Taiwan. This breaks away from the past reliance on a few large power plants, allowing for greater diversification of power sources and the decentralization of the energy supply, thereby reducing systemic risks. To facilitate the smooth integration of renewable energy sites into the power grid across Taiwan, Taipower is actively constructing interconnection points and cable routes. As part of the Enhancing Power Grid Resilience Construction Plan, there are plans to establish 9 solar power stations with 10 transmission lines and 7 wind power stations with 7 transmission lines. Based on the current schedule, these projects are expected to be completed by 2032.
Enhancing and fortifying power grid engineering to improve equipment stability
|To reduce the instability associated with renewable energy and to enhance its usability, Taipower is actively expanding its energy storage facilities. The plan’s enhancing and fortifying the power grid engineering dimension is centered on a total investment of NT$125 billion that will be allocated to three major areas: grid expansion and upgrades, widespread deployment of energy storage devices, and the transformation of outdoor substations into advanced indoor substations. Taipower has already launched an accelerated replacement program to strengthen the power grid. This involves not only equipment upgrades but also capacity expansion. In the coming years, traditional outdoor substations will be gradually replaced with advanced indoor substations, which offer enhanced protection against external damage and improved equipment safety. The main goal of enhancing and fortifying power grid engineering is to enhance equipment stability and minimize the losses caused by power interruptions.|
Enhancing system defense capabilities to prevent the spread of power outages and accidents
|The enhancing system defense capabilities dimension includes strengthening defense in depth and real-time dynamic defense. It will utilize the investment of NT$169 million to develop the relevant monitoring equipment and enhance defense accuracy with the aim of effectively preventing the spread of power outages following accidents. In the event of an unforeseen incident in the power grid, the ability to quickly isolate the fault point and minimize the scope of the incident helps expedite the restoration of stable operations. Within a period of two years, the plan is to enhance the depth of defense, making the overall power system’s operations more robust and stable.|
The reduced probability of accidents
By shifting to indoor substations and replacing aging equipment, external accidents can be effectively prevented and the probability of equipment failures can be reduced.
A minimized scope of impact
By constructing switch yards at critical hub substations for power convergence, establishing new substations to increase power distribution nodes and adding protection and defense equipment, the impact of accidents can be contained within specific areas.
The shortening of power outage durations
By limiting the scope of accidents, the duration of power outages can be significantly reduced. Additionally, with improved regional dispatch capabilities, the restoration process can be accelerated.
In the past, Taipower has faced resistance and challenges from the public when carrying out power infrastructure projects. However, following the 303-Incident, society has placed a greater emphasis on power grid resilience. Taipower will actively engage with local governments and the public to facilitate early completion of crucial resilience projects, such as:
- Taipei City’s Songhu Ultra-High Voltage Substation to meet long-term power demand growth in the eastern district of Taipei.
- Accelerating the transformation of substations into indoor substations, such as the transition from the Taipei First Substation (outdoor) to the Wanlong Substation (indoor), to protect equipment like transformers from external impacts.
- Extending one circuit from the southern hub (the Longqi Ultra-High Voltage Substation) to the Mili Substation to decentralize the risk to the power supply from a single substation.
- Constructing the Tongwan and Beimiao switchyards to directly supply power from power plants to important power consumption centers, relieving the burden on transmission lines.
- Constructing the Liuke Ultra-High Voltage Substation to enhance the integration capacity of renewable energy, while also decentralizing the concentration risk and increasing distribution nodes.