Singapore pilots EVs as distributed storage for grid reliability

Singapore Power has launched a vehicle to grid pilot project, claimed to be a first in Southeast Asia, to test the use of EVs as small energy storage systems to address renewables intermittency.

As Singapore phases out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040 and replaces them with EVs, the strain that is expected to be experienced on the grid due to EV charging will be addressed by using the EVs as flexible energy storage mechanisms. This means EV owners can charge their vehicles during times when the grid is not stressed and when renewable energy generation is high and supply the utility with stored or excess energy to meet an increase in demand on the grid.

The business case will provide opportunities for both the utility and EV owners, as well as accelerate the energy transition by simplifying the switch to renewables and transport electrification. A total of 600,000 EVs are expected on Singaporean roads by 2040.

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Singapore Power will be installing four vehicle to grid charging infrastructures at its premises under the pilot, which runs through June 2022. A number of vehicle to grid services including frequency regulation and demand response will be tested.

Mr Stanley Huang, Group CEO, SP Group, said: “Our trial of vehicle-to-grid integration is another step towards supporting Singapore’s green energy transformation. At SP, we have dual roles to play. As the national grid operator, we are building a resilient and smart grid for the future, ensuring that our energy system caters to the increased load due to the conversion to EVs. To empower a sustainable energy future, we are proactively investing in and leveraging smart energy solutions to enhance our grid’s capacity for renewable energy sources.“

E-mobility partnership

Cross-sector collaboration between the utility, automobile, and technology industry players has been identified as vital to addressing key barriers to electrification including the lack of adequate charging infrastructure.

Other utility giants such as Enel and Iberdrola are partnering with automobile and technology companies, and Singapore Power is following suit by investing in The Mobility House to explore vehicle-to-grid feasibility.

Furthermore, in May 2021, the utility partnered with transportation company Strides Transportation to launch Electrification-as-a-Service (EaaS) as a new offering to Strides’ drivers and fleet customers. Strides will use Singapore Power’s EV charging network of 340 charging units installed across 71 locations to provide customers with charging services.

Commenting on the partnership, Huang, added: “We are committed to accelerating Singapore’s green mobility transition and enabling large-scale adoption through accessibility, convenience and affordability. In addition to
building the most pervasive network infrastructure in Singapore, we will be drawing on our technology to find new ways to meet Stride’s business needs, and the differentiated charging needs of the EV ecosystem. I am confident this partnership will provide insights and spur innovations to drive greater operational efficiencies and sustainable outcomes for customers and rivers.”