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KEPCO and telco smart energyIn Asia, state-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has announced a tie-up with a telecommunications company to develop smart energy solutions for domestic and export use.

KEPCO has signed an agreement with KT Corp, one of the largest telecom providers in the East Asian country, to develop four smart energy projects.

The pair will work on commercializing automatic metering systems using long term evolution (LTE) technology, installing charging stations for electric vehicles, conducting joint research and development for utilizing big data for energy efficiency, and exporting micro energy grids, according to a report by The Korea Herald.

Advanced metering pilot scheme

The two companies plan to kickstart the relationship with a pilot for a LTE-based automatic metering system involving 2,000 households in areas including Seoul and Gwangju.

The two will also build on a research and development cluster for energy technology called the Bitgaram Energy Valley in Gwanju and South Jeolla Province.

KEPCO and KT Corp have already set up a consortium to install electric car charging infrastructure across the nation.

The entity will invest at least 32 billion won (US$29 million) into building up to 5,500 charging stations in Korea for the next three years.

Commenting on the deal, Hwang Chang-gyu, chief executive of KT, said: “By working with KEPCO for convergence of telecommunications and energy technologies, KT will try to produce tangible results in the smart energy businesses.”

Smart energy as export

A spokesman from the telecommunications company said that they would try to export the systems to global markets such as Europe and Southeast Asia.

In October 2014, KEPCO unveiled a strategy to turn its smart grid technologies into a global export.

A report by the Korea Times stated the company unveiled a three-stage plan during an electrical power trade conference on Monday in a bid to “develop smart grids into a business model and an export item”, according to Hwang Woo-hyun, vice president of KEPCO.

KEPCO will spend US$155 million between 2015 and 2017 on developing technologies that will reduce spending on power, as well as boosting energy saving and efficiency, Mr Hwang said.