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Sarawak Energy wins award for analytics on utilities in Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards

Digitalisation for sustainable hydropower development and operation.

Sarawak Energy Berhad aspires to be a digital utility and a renewable energy powerhouse in the region. Focusing on digitalising its business processes to stay ahead and achieve operational excellence whilst enriching customers’ experiences, it embarked on a digital transformation and enterprise modernisation journey after rolling out its Digitalisation Blueprint in 2018 to support business needs and chart Sarawak Energy’s digitalisation strategies and action plans.

Five key strategic thrusts have been identified under this blueprint. One of these is to leverage data and analytics to gather business insights.

The company’s latest endeavour led to the creation of the Dynamic Water Dispatch Management (DWDM) system which was implemented in March 2021 to modernise hydrological forecasting and dispatch of hydroelectric plants.

The DWDM system utilises artificial intelligence-based analytics to provide real-time reliable and highly accurate hydrological forecasting. It also optimises the fleetwide dispatch of all large hydroelectric plants.

It likewise utilises data to predict the inflow and reservoir water level. Hourly rainfall data is collected from 19 hydrometric stations. It also checks the hourly water level data from hydroelectric plants and the daily rainfall forecast into the catchment. 

The system’s rainfall forecast is developed with machine learning capability to continuously improve its algorithm, thus improving the accuracy overtime in producing highly accurate data. With better prediction of inflows and reservoir water levels, a controlled release can be better planned during dry and wet seasons, providing better water level management upstream and downstream.

For these efforts, the panel gave the Analytics – Utilities awards to Sarawak Energy in the recently concluded Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards hosted by Singapore Business Review.

The annual awards programme recognises exceptional companies who are riding the disruption wave and are leading the technological revolution and digital journeys of their respective industries to boost Malaysia’s fast-growing economy.

The judging panel took into consideration some of the product’s highlighted achievements.

First is that it enabled high accurate prediction up to seven months ahead for rainfall, inflow, reservoir water level, and generation output.

The second is being able to offer dynamic decision-making for fleetwide dispatch of large hydroelectric plants to ensure sustainable use of water resources and enhance safe navigation of communities who use the waterways both upstream and downstream of the dam.

Lastly, it was awarded for becoming proactive in taking preventive measures to mitigate flood risks during extreme weather events.

According to Sarawak Energy, this system will also promote the efficient use of water resources for more sustainable hydropower development in Sarawak, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the company’s commitment to embedding sustainability best practices in its operations.

Sarawak Energy is a vertically integrated power utility and energy development company with a foundation of 100 years in powering Sarawak’s growth.

The company’s hydroelectric plants have a total installed capacity of 3,452MW which is contributed by the Batang Ai (108MW), Murum (944MW), and Bakun HEP (2,400MW).

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