Hitachi Energy drives digitalization in Indonesia with the deployment of the first digital substation


Hitachi Energy has delivered a state-of-the-art 150-kilovolt digital substation which is helping Indonesian utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN Persero) ensure reliable power and better support economic development in East Java, as well as contribute to broader long-term sustainability goals.

The East Java and Bali Development Central Unit (UIP JBTB) substation connects the 200-hectare Sidoarjo Industrial Estate (KIS), which includes large manufacturing companies, to PLN’s grid as part of Indonesia’s efforts to build resilient infrastructure and realize the benefits of industry 4.0.

The increased reliability the digital substation brings will help drive further economic growth and investment in the East Java Province, which makes up almost 15 percent of national gross domestic product, the second highest contributor after the capital, Jakarta. 

Indonesia to achieve low-carbon emission in future

The digital substation also supports Indonesia’s transition to a low-carbon future by seamlessly integrating renewable energy and contributing to the decarbonization of the region’s electricity network. Built on an area of 1.5 hectares, it is the first and largest digital substation of its kind in East Java, Indonesia. The project was launched and completed during a challenging 2020. 

“This project is another example of how digitalization is playing a key role in shaping power systems and reaffirms our position as a partner of choice for advancing a sustainable energy future in Indonesia,” said Massimo Danieli, Managing Director Grid Automation at Hitachi Energy. “As a trusted partner to PT PLN (Persero), the nation’s utility company, we will continue to support the development of the country’s energy infrastructure and its digital transformation.”  

“Thanks to Hitachi Energy, with this digital substation, operators can retrieve real time data about electricity flowing in the network so they can anticipate and make decisions faster. This is important for the resilience and stability of the electricity network, especially to support this very strategic industrial area in East Java,” said Djarot Hutabri, General Manager of the East Java and Bali Development Central Unit. “In addition, this digital substation also allows for improved reliability, integration of new, cleaner forms of energy, and delivery of energy services in a smarter and safer way”. 

The deployment of digital equipment and technology in PLN’s Sidoarjo substation enables lower operational and maintenance costs and limits electrical risk with the use of fiber optic cable rather than copper for operational data exchange. Digital substation technology from Hitachi Energy enables a reduction in space and therefore on-site construction, providing KIS a dynamic, safer and more reliable power network. 

The brand-new substation at KIS is based on the latest communication protocols for control, protection and automation. The use of a process bus communication network enables continuous bidirectional exchange of digital data between primary equipment, protection equipment, the SCADA system, and the regional control center. Station-level control is achieved through Hitachi Energy’s MicroSCADA power automation solution, from which PLN can get intelligent and automated results, thereby enhancing the availability and resilience of its power infrastructure.

MicroSCADA, along with the latest generation of remote terminal units (RTU), protection devices and merging units, enables PLN to improve the reliability and efficiency of its operations. Centralized monitoring enables disturbances to be identified and addressed quickly, thereby reducing the impact on operations and minimizing the disruption from failure in any part of the network. This is particularly important to ensure the stable supply of electricity to the industrial estate and to increase reliability by sharing the energy load and distribution between the regions of Bangil and New Porong.