Installation of standalone energy storage facility will optimise substation space usage

INSTEAD of being traditionally installed within a district cooling plant, an ice thermal storage facility will be installed on its own at a substation at George Street in the Central Business District and outside a district cooling plant, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and SP Group on Monday (Aug 29).

The installation will be part of a pilot project that seeks to optimise space usage within the substation, and will be completed in the third quarter of 2026, said EMA and SP Group in a joint release.

The ice thermal energy storage system will add up to 1,500 Refrigeration ton-hour (RTH) of ice thermal energy to the Marina Bay district cooling network operated by SP, and curtail up to 2 MW of electrical load, which is the equivalent of 170 4-room public housing flats for a day.

It will also contribute to EMA's target to deploy at least 200 MW of energy storage systems beyond 2025.

SP will also install 3,000 refrigeration tons (RT) of chiller capacity at the substation to support the future expansion of the Marina Bay district cooling network, bringing the total installed capacity of the network to 73,000 RT.

This will allow SP to provide sustainable cooling to more buildings in the Marina Bay vicinity and surrounding areas such as Boat Quay. 

The storage facility can help to address the issue of supply intermittency, as renewable energy such as solar power fluctuates due to weather conditions, noted both organisations in the release.

"The stored thermal energy can also be discharged to power the district cooling plant and shave peak load demand. This will help to balance the electricity load, thereby reducing intermittency and enabling the grid to be more resilient," said the statement.

EMA and SP also noted that the thermal energy storage system will also enhance SP's participation in demand response, mitigating high prices during times of tight electricity supply.

SP's district cooling operations at Marina Bay are currently a key demand response provider in Singapore, with 5 thermal storage tanks contributing up to 11 MW of electricity load curtailment capacity.

With the additional thermal energy storage from the George Street Substation, SP can increase its electricity load curtailment capacity for demand response during peak periods which will result in overall system savings, said the statement.

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