Issue 2 | APRIL 2012
SMART GRIDS - The Intelligent Energy System (IES) Pilot

Singapore’s IES Pilot Takes Flight

A smart grid system that provides you with real-time information on how you use electricity. This could be a reality as the Energy Market Authority (EMA) together with grid operator Singapore Power (SP), embarks on the Intelligent Energy System (IES) Pilot. Like other governments and utilities worldwide, Singapore is harnessing the advancements in infocommunications technology to further enhance its electricity transmission and distribution networks.

The IES Pilot is an important initiative for Singapore. It could improve network operations and facilitate active participation among consumers. The concept of a smart grid is one where grid operators and end users share information seamlessly and securely. Through this, consumers can access realtime information on their electricity consumption, enabling them to make better decisions on how to manage its usage. At the same time, grid operators can also receive feedback on how the system performs.

How The IES Works

Advancements in smart grid technologies are evolving rapidly worldwide. Pilot projects and rolling out of meters are taking place in the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy and United States. Singapore’s IES Pilot is implemented in two phases. Phase 1, which began in 2010,
was focused on developing the enabling infrastructure and the testing of smart meters.

Smart meters are equipped with communication capabilities. They provide consumers and the grid operator with detailed information on how much electricity is being used and fed into the electricity grid. A good communication network is vital for information to flow safely, securely and seamlessly. That is why part of the communication network development leverages on the Infocomm Development Authority’s Next Generation National Broadband Network, as well as other communication platforms.

Phase 1 is now completed which enables the implementation of consumer applications like demand response, direct load control, load curtailment and energy management.

Phase 2 will start in 2012. It will see the participation of households, commercial and industrial consumers. Different applications will be tested as part of the Pilot to help consumers change their consumption patterns, and in the process reduce their electricity bills.

Moving Ahead With IES

The IES offers ways for businesses to manage their energy needs. Building owners and industrial consumers can install or upgrade their Energy Management System to integrate with the IES infrastructure. This will provide them with timely information to optimise and reduce their electricity consumption. Customers in various locations, including the newly established Clean Tech Park at Jalan Bahar, will have the opportunity to participate in this Pilot.

Another key application that will be facilitated by the IES is “demand response” where participating consumers can sign up with demand response aggregators and have their consumption reduced in respond to system conditions, particularly during periods of tight supply or when prices are high. This can help to reduce the price of electricity for contestable consumers buying from the electricity pool. For households, the IES Pilot will be conducted at selected estates in the Punggol area. Through the use of In-Home Display (IHD) units and web portals, these residents will be able to retrieve consumption data from the smart meters, and have access to more real-time information to help them manage their electricity usage. The IES Pilot provides an opportunity for Singapore to test out the potential of smart grid technologies. This supports the whole-of-government vision for Singapore to be a “Living Laboratory” for innovative energy solutions.

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