Pulau Ubin Micro-grid Test-bed Powers Up Residences And Businesses

Pulau Ubin residents now enjoy electricity generated using clean and renewable energy solutions as part of a test-bed by EMA.

Mr S Iswaran interacting with Pulau Ubin's residents

While renewable energy resources such as solar are cleaner than fossil fuels, their intermittent nature can pose challenges to the stability of the electricity grid and reliability of electricity supply.

Intermittency occurs when the energy source is not continuously available due to some external factors. For solar energy, cloud cover, shadows and changing weather conditions can lead to fluctuations in the amount of energy produced from solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

The test-bed thus aims to assess the use of biodiesel and solar PV technology within a micro-grid infrastructure. This has enabled Ubin residents, who previously relied on diesel generators, to enjoy a more reliable, cost competitive and cleaner form of electricity.

Built at the jetty area of Pulau Ubin, the micro-grid was officially launched on 10 October 2013 by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry.

He said, "The learning points from the test-bed will help to enhance our ability to manage intermittent energy sources. It will enable Singapore to maximize the amount of solar and other forms of renewable energy we can deploy when those technologies become commercially viable. This in turn will contribute to our long term goal of diversifying our energy mix and moving towards a sustainable energy future for Singapore."

One satisfied resident is Mr Tan Chee Kiang who runs a restaurant and provision shop on the island. He no longer needs to worry about his diesel generators breaking down and loss of electricity supply to his restaurant's chillers. The reliable supply of electricity from the micro-grid has also enabled him to scale up his restaurant's operations.

The electricity supply by the micro-grid will also support more energy intensive appliances. Ms Koh Bee Choo, another resident and a bicycle shop owner, intends to install a refrigerator at her premises.

Beyond this test-bed, EMA is also investing in efforts to catalyse energy innovation, including in areas such as smart grids and power generation technologies. Collectively, these efforts will enable Singapore to keep our energy options open, and strengthen the overall resilience and availability of our power system.

The micro-grid provides Pulau Ubin with reliable energy solutions