Forum: Prepare Singapore's electricity grid for new era

The electricity import trial with Malaysia over two years is a practical solution to decarbonise Singapore's electricity sector (Singapore takes multiple steps to ensure greener energy mix, Oct 27).

Tapping into renewable resources will allow Singapore to diversify its gas-dominated generation portfolio, which will be beneficial for our electricity market and reduce the price of electricity.

The promising future does come with a few challenges for both nations. At our end, new grid dynamics will be introduced when transferring power from Malaysia to Singapore.

Specifically, inter-area oscillation - electromechanical interactions between remote groups of generators - will be present in the submarine cables. This is an oscillatory phenomenon that is inherent in many power systems, but unprecedented for the Singaporean grid.

If not properly dealt with, this could destabilise the grid when cables are loaded to their capacity, which is a plausible scenario when the Republic imports electricity from other Asean nations.

That said, tapping into the renewable resources from our neighbouring countries will accelerate our commitment to combating climate change as well as forge new opportunities for our local power industry to expand.

It is time to gear up the grid for the interconnection era.

Jimmy Chih-Hsien Peng (Dr)

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