Regional | Governance

Modernizing Power Trade Coordination in Central Asia

Coordinating Dispatch Center Energiya, Central Asia’s power flow coordinator, is getting a power boost from an ADB project cofinanced by the Asian Clean Energy Fund under Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility and the High-Level Technology Fund. A recharged Energiya will help increase regional energy trading and addresses frequent power outages and the increasing use of fossil fuels.

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Keeping the Lights On. Cutting-edge technology is about to turn Energiya into a state-of-the-art power flow coordination center in Central Asia. A modernized Energiya will help increase regional energy trading and address frequent power outages and increasing use of fossil fuels.

Project

Regional Cooperation on Increasing Cross-Border Energy Trading within the Central Asian Power System

Project Cost

$2.5 million

  • ADB $500,000.00
  • Financing Partners
    • Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility $1 million
    • High-Level Technology Fund $1 million

Approval Date

January 2019

Completion

December 2021

Expected Partnership Results

A modernized CDC Energiya using high-level technology data management by the end of 2021

Background

Power trade among Central Asian countries radically declined after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Before that, 25.41 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) were traded among the Central Asian Power Systems (CAPS)—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The drop in energy trade has caused widespread power outages in Tajikistan in winters and increased fossil fuel use by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in summers. After Tajikistan left the CAPS in 2009, the energy trade had decreased to 2.26 billion kWh, and this declined further in 2016 to 2.08 billion kWh.

Power flow between the national electricity grids of the CAPS is regulated by the coordinating dispatch center (CDC), Energiya, which was formerly based in Moscow. It is now located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Since its establishment in the 1960s, no significant technological modernizations were made at CDC, and it operates on outdated, Soviet-era technologies to perform its functions.

Examples of how the regional power trade is constrained due to technological limitations of the CDC can be seen in the forecasting of power flows and adjustment to real-time figures, delay in locating grid faults, and mismatched actual metered flows with the CDC’s telemetry. All these contribute to the CDC not having a full and accurate picture of the energy flow among the CAPs.

In late 2018, countries under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program requested ADB’s help to increase regional power trade among Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The cluster technical assistance (TA) on Regional Cooperation on Increasing Cross-Border Energy Trading within the Central Asian Power System was approved with three subprojects that are strategically linked to the overall project objective.

Interventions

The participating countries target coming out of the project with increased cross-border energy trade of at least 11 billion kilowatt-hours annually. The interventions are split into three subprojects and are designed independently of one another yet contributes to the umbrella cluster TA.

The first subproject, Modernization of Coordinating Dispatch Center Energiya, is cofinanced by the Asian Clean Energy Fund, under Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility (CEFPF), and the High-Level Technology Fund (HLTF). It seeks to modernize the energy coordination dispatch center, Energiya, by introducing an energy data management (EDM) system to replace all Soviet-era equipment at Energiya.

The EDM, a high-level technology (HLT), is expected to enable operation of the regional grid in real-time and significantly increase volumes of telemetry information collected by Energiya. This will also allow centralization of the CAPS’ emergency automation.

The EDM is designed based on state-of-the-art practices of international dispatch centers. Knowledge-sharing workshops among the CAPS are done with insights from Japanese and European experiences in power management and large cross-border energy trade, respectively.

The second and third subprojects complete the picture of an enhanced energy trade- one component will address bottlenecks to the regional trade and examine the national grids of all CAPS countries to identify and provide solutions to energy flow constraints; the other will expand membership through studies and dialogue facilitating new members into CAPS.

Progress

The ongoing subproject, which targets a modernized Energiya using high-level technology data management by the end of 2021, is on track.

An assessment of the needs of Energiya has been conducted and the design of the EDM system is also complete. The results of the needs assessment and EDM system design have been accepted by the CDC.

As of writing, the modular procurement plan to acquire the EDM is being finalized, including preparations of bid documents. The modular approach is used to adapt to budget availability and urgency of need in procurement. Since the modular procurement plan indicates that the allocated amount may be slightly short, the project may seek additional financing once the bidding for procurement of the EDM is complete in the autumn of 2020.

A regional workshop with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and consultants based in Europe is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop will be the venue for JICA to share experiences of Japan for managing interregional power flows as well as disaster resilience of the grid. The consultants will present European experience on power trade.