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VFlowTech’s Batteries to Power Pulau Ubin Towards a Sustainable Future

Minister of State and Ministry of Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling spoke to VFlowTech CEO Dr Avishek Kumar at 2023 Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW)

Singapore-based VFlowTech recently announced that its vanadium flow battery, PowerCube 100-500, will be part of Pulau Ubin Island’s main sources of reliable and affordable energy. With the goal to help Singapore achieve a clean-energy future, these batteries are introduced with the goal to provide a “longer-lasting, 100 per cent recyclable, non-flammable” alternative with great versaitility.

“Our long-term vision for the Pulau Ubin project is to serve as a pioneering model for the effectiveness of long-duration energy storage systems, specifically highlighting the prowess of vanadium redox flow batteries in off-grid settings. The success of this project is intended to serve as proof of viability for similar deployment opportunities in Southeast Asia and Singapore, positioning us as a key enabler for the broader energy transition,” writes Dr Avishek Kumar, Co-founder and CEO of VFlowTech, in an email to e27.

“Looking ahead, our aspiration is to scale up this technology significantly, supporting Singapore’s energy import ambitions and emerging as a pivotal force driving the transition to cleaner energy sources. In the context of the planned 4GW energy import, we estimate the need for 60-70kW of energy storage, representing a scale-up of Pulau Ubin by an impressive 20,000 times.”

Through this project in Pulau Ubin, VFlowTech aims to encourage other regions and communities, including the mainland of Singapore, to consider these sustainable energy storage solutions and reduce the reliance on diesel generators.

“The widespread deployment of our batteries contributes to a substantial reduction in the cost of electricity and energy over time,” Dr Kumar explains.

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“As we scale our battery production, economies of scale come into play, leading to a significant decrease in the cost of energy storage. This cost reduction is a pivotal aspect of VFlowTech’s commitment to fostering energy equity and making clean energy affordable for all. Our goal is to bring down the cost of clean energy to less than US$0.09 per unit, ensuring that the benefits of energy transition are accessible and sustainable on a broader scale.”

The project began when EDP Renewables looked for an energy storage solution at Pulau Ubin. VFlowTech being the manufacturer of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs) discussed the potential of its technology. Dr Kumar also says that the company was chosen due to its close proximity to Singapore and being the only company that manufactures vanadium redox flow batteries locally.

“Unlike our previous smaller-scale projects, this off-grid deployment presented complex challenges that compelled us to enhance our capabilities. We recognised the need to expand our team’s skill set, from hardware manufacturing to software-related management skills which are crucial for effective battery integration at the site,” Dr Kumar says.

Moving forward with renewable energy

Next year, VFlowTech want to focus on scaling its production and operations. It plans to scale its 100MWh manufacturing facility in India that will be operational by 2024 and be ready for GWh deployment by 2027. According to Dr Kumar, this facility will enhance operational efficiency, enabling increased production of PowerCubes 10-30 and PowerCubes 50-250 to meet a broad spectrum of energy storage needs.

“The introduction of our PowerCube 50-250 to the market addresses the increasing demand for modular, scalable, and efficient long-duration energy storage. Specifically designed to facilitate seamless deployment scaling, from MWh to GWh, it plays a pivotal role in powering diverse areas of Singapore as the nation embraces a cleaner energy landscape,” he said.

“Our ambitious goal is to deploy a total of 7MWh of energy storage solutions globally, with plans to install 120 units in various locations, including Singapore, India, Korea, Japan, and Australia. Furthermore, we aspire to contribute to the Green Corridor project, advancing the regional energy transition.”

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In its effort to advance the adoption of clean energy, VFlowTech has a multifaceted approach.

Dr Kumar believes that the implementation of projects such as in Pulau Ubin will inspire next generation of talents in the climate tech sectors. This is why VFlowTech also provides on-the-job training, substantial investments in research and development, effective communication strategies, and fostering collaboration among all stakeholders.

“Moreover, we actively engage in various projects designed to showcase the efficacy of long-duration energy storage systems. These projects consider both the constraints, such as limited land space, and the opportunities to repurpose existing resources. By doing so, we strive to demonstrate the viability and versatility of our energy solutions and foster a transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources,” he explains.

“Furthermore, we aspire to be recognised as thought leaders, actively fostering discussions about the pivotal role of long-duration energy storage as the cornerstone of energy transitions. We aim to increase the awareness of this technology and educate the public on its significance in the context of sustainable energy. Through our participation and organisation of in industry forums and collaborative initiatives, we aim to lead conversations that drive home the importance of long-duration energy storage in achieving a greener, more sustainable future.”

Image Credit: VFlowTech

The post How VFlowTech plans to power Pulau Ubin towards a sustainable future with its batteries appeared first on e27.


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