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SP Group signs research agreement with S'pore Institute of Technology for Punggol multi-energy micro-grid

GRID operator SP Group, which is building the first micro-grid on mainland Singapore at the new Punggol campus for the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), on Monday signed a research agreement with the institution.

Both will work on research projects specific to the micro-grid, including tools to plan, optimise, and manage district energy systems, converting waste to a renewable energy source, and solutions to provide higher energy efficiency on the campus.

Said SIT president Tan Thiam Soon: "The first of its kind in the region, the multi-energy micro-grid will also serve as a teaching and applied research platform for SIT students and other stakeholders in the energy ecosystem.

"While SIT students will undoubtedly benefit through this partnership by leveraging SP's expertise, SP will eventually have an industry-ready pool of local power engineering talent that it can tap as well."

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The agreement was signed at the International Utility Working Group conference which is taking place from April 23 to April 27 in Singapore.

At the annual event, 10 utilities including those from Japan, China and UK will exchange best practices, helping one another to build up capabilities to cope with the rapidly changing sector.

Speaking in a keynote address, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that under the Energy Grid 2.0 that Singapore is embarking on this year, the country will explore research and development in several areas.

The first is in the integration of multiple sources including renewables, across electrical, gas and thermal networks, into a "single intelligent, reliable and resilient system".

The second is the use of key component technologies such as cooling technologies and solid state transformers, which reduce the high voltage used to transport electricity into lower voltages needed by homes and businesses.

Digital solid-state transformers can "completely change" the design of substations, said Mr Wong.

"If you have solid-state transformers the size of a suitcase, potentially, imagine the kind of changes that can happen to the design of future substations and how much land can be freed up for more valuable usage."

The micro-grid by SP and SIT will also provide a platform for new technologies and solutions to be tested in a controlled solution, he added.