Image: EMA

Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) is leading advances in innovation and development of energy storage in the island state.

The Energy Storage System (ESS) solutions initiative has been created by the regulator bringing together industry and research partners to advance storage and in turn support the growing deployment of solar resources.

Solar is the most viable renewable energy resource for Singapore.

The first utility-scale storage is a 2.4MW/2.4MWh lithium-ion battery system, which has been installed in an SP Group (formerly Singapore Power) substation.

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The project is aimed to evaluate the performance and safety of energy storage solutions in Singapore’s hot, humid and highly urbanised environment and to aid in establishing technical guidelines for future deployments.

The system, due to come online at the end of 2020, will participate in the wholesale electricity market to provide services to mitigate the intermittency caused by solar, as well as to reduce peak demand.

“Energy storage systems are one of the most promising solutions to help Singapore integrate more solar energy into the power grid,” says EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun in a statement.

“We have been working with partners to facilitate the deployment of different energy storage solutions. This is critical in supporting Singapore’s target of at least 2GWp of solar deployment by 2030.”

Another distributed storage system is being deployed at the electrical switchrooms of five public housing blocks in Punggol. The aim with this project is to develop a centralised control system to manage distributed lithium-ion batteries across several sites and again to guide future developments.

First floating storage

The latest storage project to get the go ahead in Singapore is the award of a grant to a consortium led by Envision Digital International to pilot the state’s first floating system.

The storage, Singapore’s largest to date, will be a 7.5MW/7.5MWh lithium-ion battery system. Due to the climate, the testbed will incorporate an innovative liquid cooling solution that utilises seawater to cool the battery cells and enhance the lifecycle of the system.

The system also will explore the first-of-its-kind battery stacking solution in Singapore, which could potentially reduce the footprint of such deployments by up to 40%.

The award forms part of an initiative to advance innovative energy solutions in the marine sector. Potential applications include support for areas with intermittent power supply, emergency power provision for remote islands and deployment on electric vessels.

The system is expected to be completed in 2023.

Energy storage in Singapore

Energy storage is key to supporting the switch to solar as one of the four ‘switches’ being pursued in Singapore to advance its energy transition. The others are a switch to natural gas, the leveraging of regional power grids and emerging alternatives such as carbon capture and hydrogen.

The energy storage technology roadmap developed for the EMA targeting 200MW of storage beyond 2025 recommends research support and testbedding of new technologies alongside the review and refinement of policies, regulations and standards.

The development of a testing and certification hub and support for prototyping facilities and fabrication lines are recommended. Training programmes also need to be introduced.