Energy storage improves smart grid at Singapore port

  • July 25, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

An energy storage system (ESS) should enable more energy efficient port operations at Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore when it becomes operational this quarter.

This ESS is part of a smart grid management system (SGMS) that has the potential to improve the energy efficiency of port operations by 2.5% and reduce the port’s carbon footprint by 1000 tCO2e per annum, the equivalent of removing around 300 cars off the road annually.

The project is part of the $8m partnership between the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and PSA to transform PSA’s energy usage in port operations through the use of smart-grid technologies and energy management systems.

PSA Singapore operates the largest container transhipment hub in Singapore, handling 37.2 million TEUs of containers in 2021.

Port operations involve the use of energy-intensive equipment such as cranes and prime movers. Due to the dynamic nature of port activities, the energy demand can fluctuate throughout the day. EMA and PSA have awarded a consortium led by Envision Digital to develop an SGMS which includes an ESS and solar photovoltaic panels managed by Envision Digital’s EnOSTM.

The EnOSTM platform uses machine learning to provide real-time automated forecasts of the terminal’s energy demand. This enables long-term planning of port assets, short-term scheduling and real-time energy management within the terminal to reduce overall energy costs and carbon footprint.

Whenever there is a forecasted surge in energy consumption, the 2MW/2MW-hour battery ESS is activated to supply energy to help meet demand. With this enhancement to Pasir Panjang Terminal, spikes in energy demand of the port should be reduced.

During periods when the ESS is not used to manage demand, the ESS will also participate in the national electricity market of Singapore to provide ancillary services to the power grid and to generate revenue. Insights from the project may also validate the possibility for commercial and industrial users to adopt ESS to serve multiple purposes, such as demand management on-site and providing commercial ancillary services to support power systems.

“Electricity demand will grow in the next decade with increasing electrification,” said Jeanette Lim, director of the industry development department at EMA. “The adoption of innovative demand-side technologies such as smart energy management systems and energy storage systems will help us optimise our energy supply and power grid capabilities. We are pleased to partner PSA to support this project to reduce the overall energy usage and carbon emissions of Singapore’s port operations. Innovative digital solutions such as this project will play a part in making our energy systems more efficient and resilient.”

Alvin Foo, head of new technologies and sustainability at PSA, added: “As a premier hub port driving innovation, digitalisation and sustainability, PSA can play an active role in contributing and co-creating Singapore’s smart grid architecture and energy systems. We are excited to partner EMA in unlocking the full potential of battery energy storage to achieve cleaner and more efficient energy for our operations. As PSA enhances efficiency with port automation, we will continue to drive collaborative innovation with our partners for greater resilience in our energy future.”

And Tan Joo Hong, head of global ports technology at Envision Digital, said: “We are pleased to work with PSA and EMA to further their digitalisation for decarbonisation agenda. With energy, machines and systems orchestration through the use of EnOSTM, our jointly developed SGMS will support PSA in its sustainable development initiatives such as large-scale electrification and enable better management capabilities when PSA adopts different green energy sources. Our joint work with PSA will result in a reference model for ports embarking on sustainable development journey.”

Insights from the SGMS can also be applied for advanced energy management and optimisation at the Tuas Port, which should be the world’s single largest fully automated terminal upon completion in the 2040s. For greater sustainability, retired batteries from port equipment such as automated guided vehicles can be repurposed into second-life ESS.

The EMA-PSA partnership is part of EMA’s Access accelerating energy storage for Singapore programme to facilitate ESS adoption in Singapore by promoting use cases and business models. This project will also go towards supporting EMA’s target of deploying at least 200MW of ESS beyond 2025.

The EMA is a statutory board under the Singapore Ministry of Trade & Industry. It seeks to forge a progressive energy landscape for sustained growth, and to ensure a reliable and secure energy supply, promote effective competition in the energy market and develop a dynamic energy sector in Singapore.

With connections to 600 ports globally, PSA provides shippers access to daily sailings to every major port in the world, operating round-the-clock all year round. Beyond port operations, PSA also offers cargo services for manufacturing, cold chain, ecommerce, energy and chemicals. This value adding service is enabled by Calista, a digital platform that facilitates trade and helps shippers better manage their physical movement of goods, trade financing and compliance.