Shell to pilot faster-charging, solar-powered stations for EVs in Singapore

By Gayle Goh for The Business Times

THREE Shell service stations in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Lakeview will soon be powered by solar energy and offer significantly faster-charging services for electric vehicles (EVs). The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Shell have jointly awarded a research grant to a consortium led by local solar company Eigen Energy, to pilot the stations by early 2022.

The new stations will add to Shell’s network of 18 stations with EV charging services across the island. However, they will offer much shorter charging times – up to three times faster – than the 50 kilowatt rapid direct current chargers deployed at the existing stations. The latter typically provides up to an 80 percent charge in about 30 minutes, depending on the EV model.

In another first for Shell in Singapore, the new stations will be partially powered by solar photovoltaic panels and equipped with energy storage systems (ESS) to mitigate intermittency due to weather conditions. A smart energy management system will also be deployed.

“As the drive towards a lower carbon future intensifies, Shell is supporting the country’s push towards more sustainable development by offering faster EV charging which would provide drivers with more choices in decarbonization,” said Aw Kah Peng, chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore.

Ms. Aw added that by 2030, Shell aims to have an extensive network of EV charging options for customers within a “short drive” of their homes, workplaces, or whenever they are on the go. Emily Tan, Shell City Solutions’ general manager, noted that including the new stations, close to 40 percent of Shell’s network in Singapore will now offer EV fast-charging options.

Under the EMA-Shell research grant, Eigen Energy will collaborate with Rolls-Royce Singapore and ABB to develop the energy management system for the stations. The consortium will also develop battery containers with enhanced fire resistance qualities, to improve the fire safety of the ESS.

The project is part of a multi-year partnership between EMA and Shell, to develop solutions and grow local capabilities in energy storage and digitalization. It is also supported by Enterprise Singapore’s Open Innovation initiative, which helps small and medium enterprises collaborate with industry players by leveraging lead demand from government agencies and corporates.

Tan See Leng, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, announced the award of the grant in Parliament on Thursday, during the Committee of Supply debates. Due to commercial sensitivities, the grant amount is undisclosed.

“These stations will have a smart energy management system to integrate solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle chargers to help power their operations, and provide one of the fastest public EV charging, when ready in the first quarter of 2022,” said Dr. Tan.

Dr. Tan also reiterated the government’s intention to ramp up solar and ESS deployment, including deploying 200 megawatts of ESS beyond 2025. “As we increase solar and ESS deployment, our power system will become more decentralized,” he noted. “To enhance our capabilities in grid planning, maintenance and asset management, we are developing a digital twin of Singapore’s physical electricity grid.”

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