While we reported about US’ potentially ‘largest’ community solar, Korea is now ready to test the water for itself.
On March 10, Seoul stated that its proposal to build an energy-independent community, which was submitted by a consortium of the city and two private solar developers, is confirmed as eligible by the Korea Energy Agency.
The Magok District ‘Plus Energy Town’ will be an energy-independent community, where residents can directly participate in the ‘production and saving of energy.’ Seoul is planning to implement DR (Demand Response) model, community-based solar farm, and integrated real-time energy platform to the town, investing KRW 4 billion by the end of this year.
The city explained that Magok District is highly suitable for the project as it already is densely covered by highly efficient buildings and advanced ICT infrastructure, making energy data collection and analysis easier.
To enable the DR service platform, the developers will install IoT based smart meters for 1,000 homes in the District, enabling residents to check energy consumption in real-time and practice energy savings. Seoul expects around 200MWh of energy could be saved through this DR service.
The developers and the residents are to develop a 1MW community solar garden. The garden will distribute profits, which is expected to reach around KRW 200 million a year, to residents by their shares. The whole data from the garden and DR platform would be gathered by the integrated real-time energy platform for big data analysis. The result of the analysis will be used for the development of future policies and business models including energy transaction between individuals and virtual power plant (VPP).
The City and the Korea Energy Agency are planning to sign an MOU by the end of March, initiating the project development from April.