Singapore University Builds Region’s First Renewable Energy Integration Demonstration Microgrid

Nanyang Technological University Singapore is building a hybrid microgrid, integrating multiple renewable energy sources.
Published: Mon 03 Nov 2014

Nanyang Technological University Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) hybrid microgrid will be testing and demonstrating the integration of solar, wind, tidal-current, diesel, storage and power-to-gas technologies. The university will be carrying out the tests to ensure that all the sources can operate together effectively.

Hybrid microgrid to solve energy challenges in remote areas

To be built under the new Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator- Singapore (REIDS) initiative, the hybrid microgrid will be located offshore at Semakau Landfill and is expected to produce power in the megawatt (MW) range. This will prove to be suitable for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies. Remote microgrids are being viewed as significant in resolving energy shortages in islands and other more isolated areas. Pulau Ubin is one such example and is discussed in our article, Singapore Opens Up Microgrid Test-Bed.

The microgrid will have the ability to power approximately 250 housing and development board- 4-room apartments, which together consume a peak of 1MW.

The US$6.4 million (S$8 million) initial micro-grid infrastructure will also facilitate the development and commercialisation of energy technologies suited for tropical conditions to be developed by NTU Singapore together with 10 world leading companies.


Microgrids will create sustainability

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) support the initiative. The project was launched by Mr S. Iswaran, Singapore's Minister for the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, recently at the Singapore International Energy Week 2014.

At the launch ceremony, NTU Singapore President Professor Bertil Andersson, EDB's Assistant Managing Director Mr Lim Kok Kiang and NEA's Group Director for Joint Operations and Technology, Mr Satish Appoo, witnessed a pledge signing ceremony by NTU Singapore, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) and 10 leading clean energy companies.

"Sustainability is one of the major pillars of NTU Singapore's research. We have been very active in clean energy research such as in tidal, solar and wind technologies and this new initiative will allow us to apply our research and integrate the different energy sources. In so doing, we hope to develop practical renewable solutions for the energy integration industry," said Professor Andersson.

This initiative is expected to attract US$20 million worth of projects over the next five years, in addition to the initial US$8 million investment in infrastructure on the Semakau Landfill.

The 10 energy and clean tech industry leaders keen to be part of this ground-breaking effort include Accenture, Alstom, Class NK, DLRE, GDF Suez, Renewable Energy Corporation, Schneider Electric, Trina Solar, Varta and Vestas.

Diverse clean energy technologies explored

"NTU Singapore's REIDS will serve as a strategic living lab for Singapore, encompassing a large scale microgrid with a plug-and-play setup that clean energy industry leaders can leverage to develop and demonstrate a diverse range of clean energy technologies," said EDB's Assistant Managing Director Mr Lim Kok Kiang.

"By providing industry leaders with a unique platform to innovate and commercialise cutting-edge energy solutions suited for the tropical climate, Singapore will be better positioned to meet the growing demand for renewable energy technologies in the Asian region," says Lim.

Mr S. Satish Appoo, Group Director, Joint Operations and Technology, NEA says that the REIDS initiative enables the development of renewable energy solutions in Singapore for a sustainable future, which is important for an economy largely dependent on energy imports.

"As Singapore works towards greater self-sufficiency in energy production, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is happy to host REIDS clean energy facilities on Semakau Landfill, and support the national effort to explore renewable energy solutions."

REIDS - Two phases

In the first phase, a microgrid facility will be built at the Semakau Landfill that will integrate energy storage facilities, solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

The hybrid microgrid will provide a full-scale test-bed for Singapore's on-going energy research, working closely with scientists and engineers from both the public and private sectors.

The hybrid microgrid aims to ensure a stable and consistent power supply through the integration of a variety of smart energy management and storage systems.

The second phase will involve the development of a scaled-up tidal energy facility around Semakau Landfill and St. John's Island, which will then be integrated with the first phase.

A key long term goal will see the development of microgrid technologies that can help provide electricity to overseas communities that do not have access to power. This is in addition to introducing new technologies that can stabilise power grids in urban communities. Both are viewed as critical needs across Asia.[Engerati-Investment in Microgrids In Asia-Pacific To Near US$31 Billion By 2023].