Bicycle shopowner Koh Bee Choo (right) shares that the Micro-grid Test-bed has added new meaning to chilling out on Pulau Ubin, now that electricity supply has become stable

Since the Pulau Ubin Micro-grid Test-bed launch in October 2013, bicycle shopowner Koh Bee Choo has installed a chiller, LED lights, a CCTV system and a “disco light bought in Thailand”. Having a reliable supply of electricity on the island has meant she now enjoys these simple pleasures of life that we take for granted.

In the past, diesel generators would be used to power the water jet and air pump for the bicycles, since diesel had to be bought and shipped in by bumboat to the island twice a month. The generators also often broke down, which required costly repairs.

Life for the 30 residents and businesses around the island’s jetty area has decidedly changed for the better. Thanks to a more affordable, cleaner and reliable supply of electricity from the Test-bed, businesses there have scaled up in their products and services.

In Phase 2 of the Test-bed, companies and research organisations get to leverage the micro-grid infrastructure to pilot energy technologies that have potential for wide-scale deployment. This could include energy storage, energy analytics and grid asset management relevant to Singapore’s mainland grid and also for off-grid communities in the region.

To support the Phase 2 development, EMA has awarded $5 million to two projects, through an open and competitive process:

  • The first project will trial various types of energy storage systems, controlled by a centralised energy management system. This will help to better understand energy storage technologies and their performance in Singapore’s hot and humid environment.
  • The second project will involve a network of innovative sensors for real-time health monitoring of the Micro-grid. This will help to enhance grid resilience.

Insights from these projects will support Singapore’s future readiness, in which intermittent solar energy could form a more significant portion of our energy mix.