Punggol Eco Town in Asia's first total energy solutions test-bed
05 Aug 2011ShareThis
Launch of the Punggol Eco Town pilot project. (Photo credit: EMA)
Update as of 16 Sep: Punggol's eco town will see 45 HDB blocks fitted with solar panels. Singapore solar manufacturer Sunseap Enterprises, which won the tender to design, finance and install the 2MWp (mega-watt peak) solar system, will pay 70 percent of the startup cost of S$3.28 million, with HDB taking up the other 30 percent.
The tender also allows Sunseap Enterprises to sell power generated by the solar system to Pasir-Ris Punggol Town Council. This will be pegged at a preferential rate below the current electricity tariff.
Once installation is completed by mid-2012, the solar energy generated will go to power the shared facilities such as lifts, corridor and staircase lightings, and water pumps.
Singapore now has an eco town to call its own. Punggol Eco Town, a neighbourhood in the city-state's northeastern corner, recently became a "living lab" for a total energy solutions pilot project for public housing--a first in Asia. Ten flats in a housing block have been picked in an energy-saving field test slated to run from January 2012 till 2013.
Panasonic, in collaboration with the Housing Development Board (HDB), Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Economic Development Board (EDB), is targeting to cut energy consumption by up to 75 percent. To do this, it will:
- Install photovoltaic systems to supply renewable energy to power common facilities such as the lifts, water pumps and lighting
- Introduce lithium-ion storage batteries to store excess electricity generated by the solar panels for use at night and to serve as a backup electricity generator
- Install a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) to help the households on trial monitor their electricity, water and gas consumption patterns via an in-home displays and better manage their energy consumption
Success will see this test-bed rolled out for larger-scale commercial implementation.
The pilot will see new ideas and technologies being trialed. (Photo credit: EMA)
Panasonic, which is behind the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Project in China and Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town Project in Japan, also announced that it will be looking to collaborate with EMA in the latter's Intelligent Energy System (IES) pilot. The IES pilot This was introduced two years ago to evaluate new applications and technologies along the smart grid as a smart grid pilot study seeking to test the feasibility of applications through the use of smart meters and smart grid technologies.
EMA's Chief Executive, Mr Chee Hong Tat, told media at the launch on 1 August that "the benefits of smart grid applications can only be fully realised if consumers are well-educated and fully engaged in how new technologies can help them".
Mr Chee also said that a smart grid allows utilities to instantly detect and locate power outages, and the IES would be instrumental in managing energy from decentralised and intermittent power sources such as the Panasonic PV and battery system to "facilitate the deployment of clean energy sources like solar energy".