Singapore renewables firm plans massive battery project in Indonesia


Renewable developer Morrison & Co.  has begun discussions with possible partners for a mega-sized battery project in Indonesia aimed at weaning Singapore off natural gas.

They had hired advisers for talks it hopes to close in the next 12 months for partners with experience in the region to take a stake in its multibillion-dollar Vanda RE project, according to Vimal Vallabh, Morrison’s global head of energy. 

The venture between Morrison’s Gurin Energy and a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petronas Nasional is one of five developments that last month won approval to supply Singapore with 2 GW of renewable energy from Indonesia.

Singapore is seeking to import 4 GW of renewables by 2035, which is approximately one-third of its current capacity, mainly powered by natural gas, as part of its emissions reduction plans.

Vanda RE is still finalizing the exact technologies it will use but requires at least a 2 GW solar plant and a 4.5 GWh battery, said Vallabh.

According to BloombergNEF data, that capacity would make the battery larger than any currently operating, although smaller than others at more advanced stages of development. 

“People talk about it being fanciful just because of the size of the project, but my first wind farm project was 30 MW in 2003, and that was big. Today we’re doing 500 MW or GW, it’s just evolution.” Vallabh said.

Singapore is targeting to decarbonize its power mix but faces limits on building solar and wind farms because of its lack of available space.

The government aim instead to import about 30% of electricity by 2035, and in March also gave conditional approval to get 1 GW of renewable capacity from Cambodia.

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