Singapore has received its first renewable energy import via a regional multilateral power trade agreement signed between Keppel Electric and Laos state-owned electricity enterprise Electricite Du Laos (EdL).

The deal covers imports of up to 100 megawatts of renewable hydropower from Laos to Singapore — via Thailand and Malaysia — using existing interconnections, and is also the first multilateral cross-border electricity trade involving four Asean countries.

The Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) serves as a “pathfinder towards realising the broader Asean power grid (APG) vision of multilateral electricity trading beyond neighbouring countries in the region”, Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) said.

The APG is a key regional initiative to enhance interconnectivity, energy security and sustainability through existing electricity interconnections.

“This provides opportunities to tap on low-carbon and renewable energy sources in the region and contributes towards economic development and improving energy security and stability. Singapore is tapping on regional power grids to access cleaner energy sources beyond its borders,” the EMA added.

The authority noted that regional power grids can help accelerate the development of renewable energy projects and promote economic growth and bring greater energy security to the region.

Daovong Phonekeo, Laos Minister of Energy & Mines, said the landlocked country is aiming to be a major supporter of renewable energy in the region.

Laos has already exported more than 6 gigawatts of cross-border electricity to Asean members including Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The nation today has more than 8 GW of installed hydropower capacity, which is set to increase in the near future to support domestic demand and future exports.

Multi-gigawatt plans

The LTMS-PIP is one of the electricity import trials the EMA has been working on to pave the way for larger-scale electricity imports of up to 4 GW into Singapore by 2035.

As part of the LTMS-PIP, Keppel Electric and EdL signed an initial two-year power purchase agreement. Keppel Electric is the first entity to be issued an electricity importer licence by EMA.

The LTMS-PIP demonstrates the feasibility of multilateral power collaboration as technical, commercial, legal and regulatory arrangements were finalised with collaboration among parties including Keppel Electric and EdL, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad with the support from the governments of the four member Asean countries.

“Interconnected power grids can accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, promote supply diversification and strengthen grid stability for the region as a whole. We would like to thank our regional partners for their strong support and close collaboration in moving towards a cleaner energy future for the region,” EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun said.

EdL and Keppel are also collaborating on the establishment of renewable energy tracking, verification and assurance through Renewable Energy Certificates as well as other long-term renewable electricity supply.

This is in support of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, and to meet the growing demand for renewable energy and energy transition for the Asean region.