In a press release earlier today (18 Aug), National Water Agency PUB and Sembcorp Floating Solar Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp), announced the commencement of the construction of the 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir.
This floating solar photovoltaic system is said to be one of the world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems, which not only helps to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and thus carbon emissions, but also builds national climate resilience for a more sustainable future.
The system will enable Singapore to be one of the few countries in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment.
It was reported that the project will begin full commercial operations in 2021, and the amount of clean energy generated will be sufficient to power the PUB’s local water treatment plants. This offsets 7 per cent of PUB’s annual energy needs.
The Chief Executive of PUB, Ng Joo Hee, said that this floating solar power plant is a “big step” towards enduring energy sustainability in water treatment.
“With this floating solar power plant, which we believe to be one of the largest in the world, PUB takes a big step towards enduring energy sustainability in water treatment. Solar energy is plentiful, clean and green, and is key to reducing PUB’s and also Singapore’s carbon footprint.”
The Group President and CEO of Sembcorp Industries, Wong Kim Yim, expressed that Sembcorp is “honoured” to partner with PUB, adding that this platform will “enhance Singapore’s global position” in renewable energy production.
“As Singapore’s leading renewable energy player, Sembcorp is committed to helping our communities live more sustainably. This large-scale floating solar platform, which features the deployment of advanced technological and system innovations, will also enhance Singapore’s global position in renewable energy production.
“We are excited and honoured to partner PUB on this landmark project to provide green power to our nation.”
As stated in the press statement, despite solar energy being the most viable renewable energy source in Singapore, large-scale deployment of solar panels is challenging due to the nation’s dense urban landscape and limited land.
Other than rooftops and vertical spaces, PUB’s water bodies and reservoirs will be able to serve both the purposes of water catchment and electricity generation.
The statement also explained that there were positive trial outcomes and extensive environmental studies showing that floating solar panels have minimal impact on the reservoir’s water quality and biodiversity.