New developments in energy sector

FIRST UNIVERSITY IN S-E ASIA TO HAVE MICROGRID NETWORK

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will be fully powered by its own power grid, which can disconnect from the national grid, a feature that could be useful in emergencies when power may be needed for more essential facilities.

SIT will be the first university in South-east Asia to have a micro-grid network when it is completed around 2023.

Helping it build the grid is SP Group, which manages the national grid.

The microgrid will use multiple types of renewable energy, and will eventually make the entire campus emission-free, said Mr Brandon Chia, head of SP Group's centre of excellence.

Aside from being able to disconnect from the national grid, the microgrid could also provide energy to it if needed, Mr Chia said.

SIT engineering professor Tseng King Jet said: "If the microgrid is proven to work well in Singapore's context, then we may see more microgrids going up in the future around the country."

Mr Chia said the microgrid, when fully operational, would generate enough electricity to power roughly 40 Housing Board blocks.

NEW 'REGULATORY SANDBOX' TO ENCOURAGE ENERGY SECTOR INNOVATION

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has launched a "regulatory sandbox" to allow energy sector players to test products and services outside of Singapore's regulatory system.

This is a framework in which firms or individuals can propose ideas that fulfil a list of criteria, such as whether the idea uses technology in a creative way but needs some changes to existing rules.

EMA chief executive Ng Wai Choong said this experimental space was needed to encourage innovation in the electricity and gas sectors, and to allow the EMA to adjust the laws to keep pace with technology.

SMART-METER TRIAL UPDATE

Four companies have been selected to develop and test smart meters for electricity, gas and water in Singapore over the next six months.

Smart meters allow consumers to check their utilities consumption in real time.

The companies with feasible solutions will have their meters tested at a selected housing estate in the second half of next year.

SP Group, as part of this effort, will also develop a mobile application that will let consumers track their utilities use in a simple way.

SEMBCORP MARINE TUAS BOULEVARD YARD TO BUILD LARGE SOLAR ROOFTOP

Separate to the Singapore International Energy Week, Sembcorp Marine will build a digital energy-saving system at its Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard.

The system will involve the construction of a large solar rooftop capable of delivering up to 5.38 gigawatt hours of energy annually.

This is enough to power almost 17,000 four-room flats.

SP Group and Sembcorp Marine signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday to develop this system, and construction is expected to begin early next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'New developments in energy sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe