South Korean team wins license for renewable energy-powered island project in Singapore

LSIS has won a license to establish a renewable energy-powered island in Singapore, raising its global profile as an independent microgrid operator.

Under the project, the Seoul-based energy solutions and electrical equipment manufacturer will provide its energy management system (EMS), energy storage system (ESS) and solar- or wind-powered renewable energy solutions for Singapore’s southern island of Semakau.

The microgrid is often dubbed a combination of next-generation energy technology, as it requires renewable energy sources and the ESS. Renowned energy systems operators here and abroad are pushing for the next growth areas amid growing calls for a more sustainable supply of electricity.

The recent achievement came as part of the government of Singapore’s renewable energy integration demonstrator (REIDS) project under which LSIS, along with GE-Alstom and Schneider, will establish four separate microgrid sectors and connect them into a single, small-scale power network.

The REIDS project will last four years, including a pilot test. The government of Singapore and LSIS will share the cost of its operation, the company said.

“The growth potential for the Southeast Asian market is massive, with Indonesia consisting of some 17,000 islands and the Philippines comprising some 7,000 islands,” LSIS Vice President Kim Won-il said after signing a memorandum of understanding with Kristen Sadler, research director at the Energy Research Institute (ERI) that oversees the project.

The island is hot and humid year round, which is not favorable for establishing large-scale electricity networks.

LSIS said this means that the island is the optimum venue to test an independent microgrid operation and other ESS. Expectations are that the REIDS will help the operators improve their technological expertise, as this is the first project to connect various microgrids into a unified network system, it added.

This is not the first time that the company has won a license for other microgrid contracts. In February 2010, the company led the Korean government-led microgrid project for three years, demonstrating its electricity management systems on the nation’s southernmost island of Marado.

Meanwhile, in recent years the company has focused on raising awareness of the massive potential of microgrid systems, with its Chairman Koo Ja-kyun delivering a keynote address at last year’s Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) about the importance of energy-independent microgrid systems as an alternative for various Asian countries ― such as Indonesia and the Philippines ― which consists of large numbers of islands.

He said electric power management is the key challenge for sustainable growth of Asian countries, as they are growing rapidly in population and technological infrastructure.

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