Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) and Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) have officially opened the Sembcorp Energy Storage System (ESS). The Sembcorp ESS is Southeast Asia’s largest ESS and spans across two hectares of land in the Banyan and Sakra region on Jurong Island. Commissioned in six months, the facility started operations in December 2022 and is the fastest in the world of its size to be deployed.
The utility-scale ESS has a maximum storage capacity of 285 megawatt hour (MWh), and can meet the electricity needs of around 24,000 four-room households for one day, in a single discharge. Its rapid response time to store and supply power in milliseconds is essential in mitigating solar intermittency caused by changing weather conditions in Singapore’s tropical climate. It can also provide reserves to the power grid, which frees up power generation plants to generate more electricity to meet demand, when needed.
According to the EMA, the ESS will play a significant part in supporting Singapore’s transition towards cleaner energy sources, and marks the achievement of Singapore’s 200MWh energy storage target ahead of time. It will complement Singapore’s efforts to maximize solar adoption by storing and delivering energy given the intermittent nature of solar power. The ESS will also enhance the country’s power grid stability and resilience by managing mismatches between electricity demand and supply.
The Sembcorp ESS is an integrated system comprising more than 800 large-scale battery units. It uses lithium iron phosphate batteries with high energy density, fast response time and high round-trip efficiency to maximize energy storage, making them suitable for maintaining grid stability. A central control system manages the batteries’ charge and discharge cycles according to the grid’s supply and demand. The integrated system also includes liquid cooling systems or built-in air conditioning systems to maintain optimal operating temperatures. Live monitoring through extensive use of intelligent sensors, security cameras and dashboards tracks the key performance indicators to ensure safe, reliable and optimal performance.