NTU Singapore to build an offshore integrated system of renewable energy sources


Credit: NTU Singapore

Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is building an offshore system that will integrate multiple renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, diesel, and power-to-gas technologies.

The region's first large-scale offshore power grid system, it will have four hybrid microgrids, occupying over 64,000 sq metres of land or roughly about eight soccer fields. The system will be built at Semakau Landfill which is managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA). It will have over 3,000 sq. metres of photovoltaic (PV) panels, including energy storage systems that are already in operation.

The deployment of the first hybrid microgrid was announced today by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands.

"I am happy to announce that the first microgrid has just been deployed and it will enable the National Environment Agency (NEA) to power its infrastructure on Semakau Landfill using electricity generated through zero-carbon means. The use of energy storage and microgrid control technologies will allow the landfill to reduce its reliance on diesel-based power and transition towards renewable energy. I am also pleased to share that REIDS will deploy 3 further microgrids on Semakau Landfill to test the interoperability of various microgrid solutions."

Once all four hybrid microgrids are fully built, they are expected to produce stable and consistent power in the megawatt (MW) range, suitable for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies.

It will also produce energy amounting to the equivalent of the average energy consumption of 250 4-room HDB flats for a year. Fish hatcheries and nurseries located at Semakau Landfill will be among the first to be powered.

Harnessing nature's power

Built under the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (REIDS) initiative led by NTU, the hybrid power grid system will test the integration of solar, wind, tidal-current, diesel, energy storage and power-to-gas technologies and ensure these energy sources operate well together.

NTU Chief of Staff and Vice-President (Research) Prof Lam Khin Yong said "The deployment of this first hybrid microgrid is a big leap towards low-carbon electricity production for the nation and the region. As a global leader in sustainability research, NTU is proud to champion this ground-breaking initiative and lead Singapore's charge in developing practical renewable energy solutions."

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and NEA, NTU's REIDS initiative will also facilitate the development and commercialisation of microgrid technologies suited for a tropical island.

Mr Goh Chee Kiong, Executive Director of Cleantech at EDB said, "Singapore has identified microgrids as a key growth area for the clean energy industry. REIDS is the largest microgrid R&D platform in Southeast Asia and therefore is instrumental to Singapore's ambition to achieve a global leadership position in microgrids and serve the regional markets. Since its launch in 2014, the REIDS platform has been successful in attracting leading solution providers and regional adopters to develop, demonstrate and export microgrid solutions from Singapore."

Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of NEA, said, "The REIDS project will lead to innovative sustainable energy solutions that will help to address climate change. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is very pleased to support this landmark effort to explore the integration of renewable energy into micro-grid solutions."

Managed by NTU's Energy Research Institute ([email protected]), the REIDS initiative is expected to attract $20 million worth of projects over the next five years, in addition to the initial $10 million investment in infrastructure at the landfill.

Spearheading offshore microgrid solutions with strong industry support

REIDS has attracted investments from top energy and microgrid companies which aim to co-develop such solutions to serve the growing market in Southeast Asia.

The four microgrid systems will be developed by ENGIE, GE Grid Solutions, LS Industrial Solutions (LSIS) and Schneider Electric. Other partners include Accenture, Class NK, DLRE, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), Trina Solar. LSIS and Sony were also announced as partners today at ACES 2016.

The REIDS platform will pave the way for similar technologies to be developed and exported to serve the numerous remote communities in Southeast Asia and beyond. It has already attracted the interest of regional adopters such as island communities and utilities.

For instance, Bawah Island, an Indonesian island in the South China Sea, and Meralco, the largest electric distribution company in the Philippines, will partner REIDS to develop offshore microgrid projects.


See Annex A for more info on the hybrid microgrids project and Annex B for a list of companies involved in NTU's REIDS initiative.

Media contact:

Nur Amin Shah
Assistant Manager (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Email: [email protected]

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU ([email protected]) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world's top young university for the last two years running. The University's main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.

For more information, visit http://www.ntu.edu.sg

Annex A

The hybrid microgrids at Semakau Landfill will be implemented in two phases.

The first phase, which has been completed, involved installing a microgrid facility with over 3,000 metre square of photovoltaic (PV) panels as well as a large-scale energy storage system.

The lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) can store up to 200 kilowatt hour (kWh), similar to the monthly energy consumption of a two-room HDB unit, and will serve as a medium term energy storage.

Currently in the second phase, a 64,400 metre square plot (about 8 soccer fields) was cleared to make way for three separate microgrids which can either be operated separately or be integrated and function as a single power facility.

These separate microgrids will each manage multiple renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, diesel generators and energy storage systems, including supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors differ from normal lithium-ion energy storage as they are able to both quickly store and discharge a large amount of electricity. However, they are unable to hold the electricity over a long period of time, serving as short term energy storage.

Excess energy generated from the microgrid can be used to generate hydrogen that can be stored long-term to be subsequently used in fuel cells which convert hydrogen into electricity, generating far less emissions as compared with oil and gas.

Annex B

Leading multinational companies involved in NTU's REIDS initiative:

1. Accenture – one of the world's leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services
2. Class NK – not-for-profit society dedicated in providing classification and technical services to maritime and clean tech industries
3. DLRE – Singaporean company focusing on microgrids, distributed generation, remote area power systems
4. ENGIE – world's largest independent electricity producer with activities in electricity generation and distribution, natural gas and renewable energy
5. General Electric Grid Solutions – industry leader in electric power generation, electric grid equipment, and transport solutions
6. LSIS – South Korea's leading electrical components manufacturer
7. Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) – top company that operates the world's largest integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China in Singapore
8. Schneider Electric – global company specialising in electricity distribution, automation, and energy management
9. Sembcorp – leading energy, water and marine group operating across five continents worldwide.
10. Sony – leading corporation in the field of large-scale energy storage systems for power grids
11. Trina Solar – pioneer of China's photovoltaic industry and global solar modules, and solutions provider
12. Varta AG – a leading global energy storage solutions provider
13. Vestas – a world leader in manufacturing and installation of wind turbines

Government agencies supporting the REIDS initiative:

1. Economic Development Board – Lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore's positing as a global business centre
2. National Environment Agency – Lead government agency responsible for improving and sustaining a clean and green environment in Singapore

Non-government organisation supporting the REIDS initiative:

1. Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) – SEAS represent the interests and provide a common platform for companies in renewable and clean energy to collaborate and undertake viable projects together

Media Contact

Amin Shah
[email protected]