Southeast Asia’s biggest battery storage project officially opened in Singapore


Singapore has surpassed its 2025 energy storage deployment target three years early, with the official opening of the biggest battery storage project in Southeast Asia.

The opening was hosted by the 200MW/285MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) project’s developer Sembcorp, together with Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA).

EMA had awarded the technology company with the project contract last May through an Expression of Interest (EOI). Work began a month or two after that and was finished shortly before the end of 2022, meaning the entire project went from origination to commissioning in just six months.

The BESS is located on 2 hectares of land on Jurong Island, which is heavily industrialised and features much of Singapore’s energy generation and infrastructure.

It is equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells in 800 separate containerised units, and as reported by as construction approached its final leg in October, will be used to help balance the supply and demand of electricity on the grid, and for various ancillary services.

With just one project, EMA has achieved and exceeded Singapore’s deployment target of 200MWh of energy storage by 2025.

The target was set as part of the EMA programme, Accelerating Energy Storage Access for Singapore (ACCESS), through which the EOI solicitation was held. It is just the second grid-scale BESS project in the country following a 2.4MWh project by Wartsila, supplied and switched on in 2020.

EMA is understood to be continuing work on the ACCESS scheme, seeking to find ways to best integrate energy storage into Singapore’s energy networks, which will be required for it to achieve a targeted 2GW of solar PV capacity by 2030 and for emissions to peak by that time.

One industry source told recently that proposing BESS projects for development in Singapore is challenging given the lack of space in urban areas of the densely populated territory, and commensurate regulations on fire safety and urban planning, among other things.

The state does not have a net zero target date, only that emissions will be in decline by 2050, and that it will aim for carbon neutrality when viable in the second half of this century. The power sector accounts for about 40% of all Singapore’s carbon emissions, according to EMA.

In attendance at this week’s event alongside EMA chief exec Ngiam Shih Chun and Sembcorp’s Singapore and Southeast Asia CEO Koh Chiap Khiong was Singapore Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng.

Sembcorp is active in international markets including the UK and has an energy storage portfolio of 709MWh. The energy and urban development group gave some more details on the Jurong Island project above what has been previously disclosed.

Quick facts:

  • Developer: Sembcorp
  • Output/capacity: 200MW/285MWh
  • Cell chemistry: Lithium iron phosphate (LFP), liquid cooled
  • Location: Banyan and Sakra, Jurong Island
  • BESS Solutions provided by: Envision and Huawei
  • EPC contractor: China Energy Engineering Group Shanxi Electric Power Engineering Co

In a recent article for our quarterly journal, PV Tech Power, representatives of companies with a presence in the region spoke about how Southeast Asia is seeing an uptick in energy storage investment.

This follows some years of market-seeding activity and is driven by Southeast Asia’s growing energy demand and economic growth, as well as the need to meet a target of 24% renewable energy shared by the ASEAN group member states.

This article has been amended from its original form to highlight that BESS solutions were provided by Envision and Huawei.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Asia, 11-12 July 2023 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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