SINGAPORE: SP Group has signed agreements for pilot projects with two international start-ups to test the technical viability and compatibility of solar technologies for Singapore's climate as well as grid monitoring solutions, the energy group announced on Thursday (Sep 21).
The Group will ink memoranda of understandings (MOU) with Portuguese company BeOn Energy and Swiss firm DEPsys.
The first agreement with BeOn Energy, a firm which provides residential solar "plug and play" solutions, could result in the adoption of cost effective solar solutions to homes, SP Group said.
Meanwhile, the second MOU with DEPsys is for a low voltage grid monitoring solution, which could strengthen SP Group's grid efficiency and reliability.
The deals were announced by SP Group's CEO Wong Kim Yin at the grand finale of the Free Electrons Global Accelerator event on Thursday.
The event is a global competition for utilities and energy start-ups that are looking at opportunities in grid reliability and efficiency, renewable energy sources and home energy management.
Speaking at the event, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry Ms Low Yen Ling said start-ups play "an important role" to help utilities companies understand challenges they face "by catalysing disruptive innovations and solutions".
She added that start-ups will be "significant drivers of economic value and jobs creation" and pointed out that last year, Singapore had 4,300 technology startups with a total of 24,000 workers.
Ms Low also highlighted that there has been a "significant increase in the number and aggregate valuations of start-up exits".
In 2015, 220 venture capital deals worth a combined value of over US$1 billion were completed, compared to just 26 deals worth US$80 million in 2010. Ms Low said that some of these deals have been in the clean energy space.
The Free Electrons Global Accelerator grand finale on Thursday saw 12 energy start-ups vying for a US$175,000 grand prize. The firms were selected from a pool of more than 450 applicants from 51 countries.
Speaking at the event, SP Group's Mr Wong said: "Through Free Electrons, we can harness the best ideas co-created by promising start-ups in collaboration with the world's leading utilities, to deliver innovative solutions that will meet future energy needs at a national and global scale."