Energy storage systems deployed to grow Singapore's solar power capacity

SINGAPORE – The country’s first-ever utility-scale Energy Storage System (ESS) has been installed at a Woodlands substation, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA) on Thursday (Oct 22).

The capacity of the ESS is equivalent to powering more than 200 four-room Housing Board (HDB) households for a day.

The ESS installation is part of an initiative by the EMA in collaboration with industry stakeholders, the research community and other government agencies to grow Singapore’s solar energy capacity.

In light of climate change concerns, Singapore is moving towards a clean, affordable and reliable energy future, with solar power being the most viable renewable energy source here, EMA said.

The utility-scale system will manage the storage of solar energy, among other functions. Its quick response when solar installations are affected by cloud cover and rain makes it a reliable source of power.

While the system is being tested, it will participate in the wholesale electricity market to mitigate power fluctuations from solar energy, as well as reduce peak demand.

“The deployment of ESS, designed for local conditions, will enable us to incorporate a greater amount of renewables and other sustainable energy solutions into our electricity grid,” said group chief executive officer of SP Group Stanley Huang.

The EMA has also worked with HDB, Sunseap Energy Ventures, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Panasonic Asia Pacific to deploy distributed ESS at electrical switch rooms for five HDB blocks in Punggol.

These systems operate on a smaller scale as compared to the utility-scale ESS.

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By using HDB blocks as test sites, the project looks to solve problems that might arise in future deployments due to intermittent solar energy at large-scale installations.

These energy storage systems are “critical in supporting Singapore’s target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak of solar deployment by 2030”, as they help to integrate more solar energy into the power grid, said EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun.

Singapore’s first ESS technology road map was also launched on Thursday (Oct 22).

Commissioned by EMA, the road map was created by Energy Research Institute @ NTU and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research to chart the technological trends and economics of the ESS ecosystem.

It can be viewed online at go.gov.sg/ess-roadmap-2020.

Complementing the road map is the Technical Reference 77 (TR 77), Singapore’s first set of technical guidelines to educate and guide consumers on the safe and reliable deployment of ESS in Singapore.

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