Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Page 12 News List

ASE plans to spend NT$100m building micro-‘smart’ grids

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) yesterday said it plans to spend NT$100 million (US$3.43 million) to build micro-“smart” grids to provide an alternative source of electric power for its factories when supply is stretched.

The micro-grids are to be first introduced at ASE’s major manufacturing sites in Kaohsiung next year, before building an alternative electricity supply system for its factories in Taoyuan’s Jhongli Distict (中壢), the world’s biggest chip tester and packager said.

ASE would be the first Taiwanese company to adopt “smart” grids to tackle the nation’s power supply issue.

With the installation of the grids, ASE expects to reduce its power consumption by between 5 and 10 percent a year, ASE senior vice president K.C. Chou (周光春) told reporters.

That would translate into cost savings of about NT$580 million, Chou said.

It would be conserving much more power than the 2.4 percent a year saved by ASE from 2014 to last year, the Kaohsiung-based firm said.

“The ‘smart’ electric grids will give us more flexibility in power management,” Chou said.

“With the system, we can reduce power usage by 5 to 10 percent in just 30 minutes when supply tightens during peak seasons,” he said.

The grids, which are to include “smart” meters and energy storage facilities, would also allow ASE to use electricity that has been stored during off-peak hours, he said.

Although the cost of electricity accounts for less than 2 percent of ASE’s total manufacturing costs, power outages can cost semiconductor firms much more if they are forced to idle and restart equipment, Chou said.

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