Figure 1. Joint Research Presentation in Indonesia Defense University Hall.

Indonesia Defense University (IDU), Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center (PYC), and International Power Supply (IPS) Bulgaria held a meeting on 27 August 2018, at the IDU Hall. The theme was “the Benefits of Implementing Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Sorong, West Papua, Indonesia.” The speakers of the event were Alex Rengelov (Chief Executive Officer of IPS Bulgaria) and Colonel (Navy) Dr. Yanif Dwi Kuntjoro, M.Si (Secretary of Energy Security Study Program). Additionally, Dr. Rudy Laksmono MT (Energy Security Lecturer) was the moderator for the discussion. This event was attended by 35 people from various institutions, including the military, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, practitioners and academicians.

The event was opened by an opening remark from the Dean of the Defense Management of IDU, Rear Admiral Sulistiyanto, S.E., M.M., M.Sc., P.S.C. He mentioned this activity was the follow-up program after the MoU between IDU and IPS and Cooperation Charter between IDU and PYC were signed. He also highlighted this event as the implementation of “Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi” for IDU.

This event was the initial step before the field research of the electrification program in Sorong, West Papua. The location of the field research has been selected in Marine Forces Base 3 of Sorong. This option was in line with the Presidential Decree No. 12/2012 concerning establishing the 3rd Infantry Division of the Strategic Reserve Command of the Indonesian Army, The III Fleet Command, The Air Force Operations Command III and Marine Forces Base 3.

Figure 2. From left to right: Colonel (Navy) Dr. Yanif Dwi Kuntjoro, M.Si, Dr. Rudy Laksmono, MT and Alexander Rangelov were answering the question from participants.

Colonel (Navy) Dr. Yanif Dwi Kuntjoro, M.Si., as the lead researcher, explained that eastern Indonesia has enormous potential for renewable energy, especially solar energy. Therefore, it should be exploited to reduce dependency on fossil energy. He added that the national electrification ratio (ER) reached 95.35% in 2017, but it still lacks in some regions. For example, in Sorong West Papua (ER 61.42%) and Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara (ER 59.85%). In this joint research, a study will be conducted for the Solar Home System (SHS) pilot project installation in Sorong West Papua.

Alexander Rangelov explained that SHS is an independent solar power system, which can be combined with backup energy sources such as PLN (State Electricity Company). He said that IPS Bulgaria develops hybrid and off-grid power systems technology. IPS Bulgaria also has experienced in R&D and manufacturing of energy conversion technologies, especially in solar technology. IPS’ technology is very suitable for an archipelagic country such as Indonesia. The technology, better known as EXERON, has a cloud monitoring system that monitors solar PV and battery condition, also the system performance remotely.

IPS has experienced in Paraguay by conducting a similar project for the military base in remote areas. Previously, the military base only used diesel generators as a source of energy generation. Then, by EXERON technology, Paraguay’s military base’s energy consumption was more effective and efficient using solar energy. For the joint research in Indonesia, IPS and collaborative partners chose the military base area in Sorong, West Papua. He hopes that EXERON technology provides benefits and improves the energy efficiency at the military base in Sorong.

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