Project OptiWatt, an initiative in which Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), government agencies, private companies, electricity retailers, research institutions and the electricity grid operator will be working with private sector players to take the lead in shifting their electricity use to off-peak hours, aiming to make the energy system more efficient.
The project was launched by Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister S Iswaran at the Singapore International Energy Week on Monday (24 October) to facilitate demand-side management initiatives, which allows consumers to actively manage their energy consumption in response to market conditions, thereby optimising their electricity bills.
In all, Project OptiWatt will involve 16 partners. They are :
- Institute of Technical Education
- Nanyang Polytechnic
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Temasek Polytechnic
- Agency for Science, Technology and Research
- JTC Corporation
- Diamond Energy Merchants
- Red Dot Power
- Seraya Energy
- Air Liquide Singapore
- Applied Materials South East Asia
- Eltek Power
- ENGIE Lab Singapore
- Energy Research Institute @ NTU
- Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University
- SP PowerAssets Limited
One of the areas of agreement is that during contingencies like power failure or disruption to energy supplies, participating consumers can cut back on a pre-agreed amount of electricity use, and the capacity can be routed to where it is most needed, minimising the need to power up additional generators.
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, the Institute of Technical Education, JTC Corporation and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) will be working on managing their energy consumption.
Companies like electricity retailers and those making equipment and materials for the energy sector will also support the efforts which offer programmes and solutions. Electricity retailer Red Dot Power, for example, has an incentive scheme that pays participating consumers to reduce electricity use during certain periods.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has welcomed Singapore as an IEA Association Country, deepening the partnership between both sides for a more sustainable and secure energy future. The announcement was made jointly by Singapore Minister S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), and Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA, at the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2016.
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) said, “Through DSM, energy consumption can be shifted from peak to off-peak hours. This reduces the maximum load that the energy system needs to cater to, yielding system-wide benefits.”
A trial with Nanyang Polytechnic demonstrated that its chillers – amounting to about 7% of the Polytechnic’s energy consumption – can be curtailed for half an hour with minimal impact to users within the premises.
The Minister said that to enable such initiatives to be scaled-up, EMA will be collaborating with Professor Frank Wolak of Stanford University to measure consumer responsiveness to incentives and to evaluate business models for their sustainability.