Younicos to supply 2MWh VRFB for renewable energy test project in Singapore

Published on: October 26, 2017 5:51 amBy: Jade Beevor


Two Singapore led consortiums will test how utility-scale lithium ion and vanadium redox flow battery energy storage systems can be used to integrate renewably generated power on to the city-state’s grid, the Energy Market Authority and SP Group announced on October 23.

CW Group and Red Dot Power will receive around S$17.8 million ($13 million) in grants for the initiative which will have an aggregated capacity of 4.4MWh. The plan is for them to be operational for three years at two substation locations in the north and north-eastern areas of Singapore.

Findings from the test-beds will inform Singapore’s transition to the larger use of ESSs as it moves toward its target of 1GWp of solar beyond 2020.

Ng Wai Choong, chief executive of EMA, said: “Insights from this test-bed will be useful for Singapore to learn how storage can enhance the stability of our grid, provide quick response capacity and improve operational flexibility. We are also exploring how to couple energy storage with solar forecasting capabilities to enable greater deployment of solar in Singapore.”

The winner of the lithium-ion test-bed has not yet been announced, however a RDP-led consortium will use German battery storage company Younicos’ VRFB for a 2MWh test-bed.

EMA’s forecast of 1GWp of solar beyond 2020, has led it to explore solutions with a (possible) duration of six to eight hours, which is why consortium member and technology partner Younicos is testing 0.25MW and 2MWh systems with an eight hour duration.

Younicos will provide its Y.Q software to control the battery system and interface it with Singapore Power’s grid operation. It will work with RDP in the installation and maintenance of the system.

The system will test a number of grid application services such as frequency regulation, peak shifting and the provision of reserves.

Philip Hiersemenzel, a spokesperson for Younicos, told ESJB: “As batteries have entered the grid, the focus has mostly been on high-power very short term grid-supporting applications, with much less focus on long, or even medium — over an hour — applications that also focus on integrating more clean energy into the grid.

“But with the cost of both renewables and storage coming down fast, high energy is increasingly also coming into play. So, it’s smart of Singapore to test both technologies — and then to assess and choose the best option.”

Younicos says it has tested all commercially feasible battery technologies in its megawatt-scale test centres in Berlin, Germany and Austin, Texas since 2007.

Additional project partners include the National University of Singapore and Singapore Testing Services. The university will deliver policy recommendations based on a techno-economic assessment of the project. This assessment relies on the data generated and collected during the two years of test-bed operation. In addition, it will develop an undergraduate course on battery storage.

STS will use the deployed energy storage system to develop tools and methodologies for test and certification of grid-scale storage systems.

Different battery technologies, and storage technologies in general, have different characteristics that make them better suited for different applications ranging from high-power to high energy applications.

In June 2016, EMA awarded research grants to develop cost-effective energy storage innovations that can be effectively deployed in Singapore following a grant call in May 2015.

Part of the research grant has allowed Nanyang Technological University to explore a battery technology that is suited to operating under Singapore’s challenging climate. To do this, NTU is coupling its titanium oxide-based anodes with the lithium-based cathodes from partner, lithium-ion battery manufacturer Durapower Technology Group, a subsidiary of New Resources Technology.

Singapore’s power generation is predominantly natural gas (95%), generated by just over a handful of companies. Solar, the most viable renewable energy in Singapore, is growing, with the total number of grid-connected installations reaching almost 2,000 contributing close to 130MWp, as of Q1 2017.

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