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November 04, 2011

A*STAR Boosts Smart Energy Economy in Singapore
By Anuradha Shukla
TMCnet Contributor

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR's (News - Alert)) has established the Experimental Power Grid Centre (EPGC) to support Singapore's goal toward developing a smart energy economy.

Located on Jurong Island, this large experimental power grid facility was officially opened in Singapore earlier this week by S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry.

A*STAR's new facility is expected to pave the way for research and research collaborations with local and international partners. These collaborations will facilitate the development of future energy technologies in areas of electrical power networks and energy distribution and renewable energy resources.

A*STAR's EPGC has already inked a research collaboration deal with SP PowerGrid and signed three MOUs respectively with Housing Development Board (HDB), Meidensha Corporation Japan and National Instruments (News - Alert).

All these agreements will boost research in varied fields, including renewable energy integration, advanced high efficiency inverters and smart grid control.

"The launch of EPGC is timely with the increasing global demand for renewable energy and innovative energy transmission and networks. EPGC provides a unique research platform for public-private partnerships to develop future energy and smart grid solutions,” said Lim Chuan Poh, chairman, A*STAR.

“The collaborations that we have developed signal the immense potential EPGC offers to industry partners and public agencies to translate research into novel energy solutions to create value for Singapore. These will not only transform Singapore into a smart energy economy, but also make an impact in the international energy landscape, establishing Singapore as Asia's Innovation Capital."

EPGC is also working closely with local stakeholders such as its partner agencies including the Economic Development Board, Energy Market Authority (EMA (News - Alert)), JTC Corporation and National Environment Agency to create Singapore's smart grid value chain from R&D initiation to commercial test-bedding and eventual technology adoption.

Associate Professor Ashwin Khambadkone, Programme Director, EPGC said, "The EPGC focuses on research to develop solutions for quick adoption. It is designed to be flexible to allow various power networks to be configured within the facility. In addition, EPGC can facilitate research in the integration of renewables with its unique ability to replicate the power output of renewable energy sources at any time and any place through its wind turbine and solar PV emulators. At 1 Megawatt, power sufficient for 500 households, near grid-like conditions can be created in EPGC, making it a preferred platform for researchers, industry and public agencies to find solutions for a cleaner, more efficient and reliable electric power."

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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