S’pore unveils wind turbine project 

Singapore’s first long-span wind turbine has been installed at Semakau landfill, rising to the equivalent of a 14-storey building with three 10.5-metre rotor blades.

The turbines were capable of powering 45 four-room Housing and Development Board apartments a year, claimed the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The turbines on the remote island to the south of Singapore are eventually due to cover an area the size of around nine football fields.

They can reportedly generate power with wind speeds between 3 and 20 metres per second.

It is the second phase of the project, with support coming from Singapore’s Economic Development Board and National Environment Agency.

The first phase, consisting of installing more than 4,500 square metres of photovoltaic panels, large-scale lithium-ion batteries and a hydrogen refuelling station, has already been completed.

“The deployment of Singapore’s first wind turbine is a big milestone in the nation’s commitment in developing clean energy technologies for the region,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong of NTU.

The university’s Semakau landfill project is being run in partnership with the French multinational ENGIE.

“Hybrid microgrids” are being planned to power 100 four-room HDB apartments, according to NTU.

A hybrid microgrid combines renewable energy with conventional diesel- or gas-fuelled generation and energy storage. The microgrids were due to work with other renewable energy sources, such as solar, tidal, diesel and power-to-gas technologies.

Each of the microgrids was expected to produce power “suitable for small islands, isolated residential areas and emergency power supplies”, NTU added.

Professor Choo Fook Hoong of NTU’s Energy Research Institute said: “When we look at renewable energy integration, we cannot rely entirely on photovoltaics because that will only work when the sun is out. Wind is different – you have wind at night as well… this allows us to have continuous power supply without having to increase the storage capacity, which is not that cheap today.”

The ambitious project is limited by battery technology with a lithium-ion energy storage system that can only hold up to 200kWh, similar to the monthly energy consumption of a two-room flat, and will serve as a medium-term energy storage system.

International interest in the project has been growing, with 12 new partners expected to sign agreements at the Singapore International Energy Week, which closes on October 27, to develop microgrids overseas.

Semakau landfill. Picture credit: Flickr