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New, improved amenities on Pulau Ubin including micro-grid to harness solar energy to power more households

SINGAPORE: Personal alert buttons for the elderly, an expanded power grid that could potentially provide 90 per cent of Pulau Ubin’s main village electricity needs using solar power - these are some enhancements residents can look forward to. 

The National Parks Board (NParks) said on Saturday (Jun 25) at the annual Ubin Day, that the amenities will help to address the needs of the community and raise the quality of life for the residents. 

There will also be more firefighting facilities, such as fire hydrants and hose reels at the main village, Kampong Sungei Durian and Ubin Living Lab to strengthen the island’s fire management response. 

The infrastructure will be ready by 2023, said NParks, which is also Pulau Ubin’s central managing agency. 

“The aim is to provide both community first responders and firefighters with improved firefighting infrastructure, to allow for a continuous and controllable supply of water, as well as better coverage of buildings,” it added. 

The Pulau Ubin power grid will be upgraded with the installation of a solar green roof connected to an advanced energy storage system. 

The solar green roof is expected to reduce the ambient temperature of solar PV modules by 3 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius, increasing the efficiency of the solar PV system by between 1.5 per cent to 4 percent.

An energy storage system will be deployed to improve the reliability of the grid for the island.  

As requested by the residents, the grid will be extended to Kampong Sungei Durian to provide sustainable electricity supply to more users on the island, said NParks and the Energy Market Authority (EMA). 

The improved micro-grid could potentially meet 90 per cent of the daily electricity demand in the main village using solar power, the authorities added. 

EMA launched the Pulau Ubin micro-grid in 2013 to provide more than 30 of the island’s residents and businesses with cleaner and affordable electricity. It also performs as a living lab to test-bed innovative clean energy solutions. 

Thirteen more households will benefit from the upgraded micro-grid, which will also be completed in 2023. 

PERSONAL ALERT BUTTONS

Personal alert buttons will be installed in the homes of five seniors who are living alone on the island, said NParks, adding that this is a pilot project in collaboration with the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).

With a single press of a button, the elderly will be able to call for immediate assistance when they face emergencies at home, said the authorities. 

Image of the personal alert button that will be installed in the homes of seniors living alone on Pulau Ubin. (Photo: GovTech)

Developed by GovTech, the personal alert buttons are “easy-to-use and non-intrusive”, and they can be installed in any location in the house. 

Once the button is activated, a distress signal is sent and the senior may also choose to record a 10-second message describing what has happened.

Staff manning the system will assess the situation and respond accordingly, said NParks and GovTech. 

In celebration of Ubin Day, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee planted 50 trees with the community, as part of the OneMillionTrees movement.

NParks also announced that it has successfully recorded 21 nesting occurrences of the Blue-throated Bee-eater and the first breeding record of the Lesser Whistling Duck at Pekan Quarry. 

This signals that “species recovery and habitat enhancement efforts can benefit birdlife on the island”, said NParks. 

Source: CNA/ta(lk)

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