Shell invests in Singapore's Sunseap to work on solar projects in Asia Pacific

Sunseap installed a one-megawatt peak solar photovoltaic system on the main building of SMRT's Bishan Depot in October 2016.
Sunseap installed a one-megawatt peak solar photovoltaic system on the main building of SMRT's Bishan Depot in October 2016. PHOTO: SUNSEAP

SINGAPORE - Solar energy firm Sunseap has received an undisclosed investment from Shell's corporate venture arm, Shell Technology Ventures.

Sunseap bills itself as the largest clean electricity retailer in Singapore, and has at least 160 megawatts of distributed solar contracts here.

It holds an electricity retailer licence in Singapore and has secured utility-scale solar projects in the region.

The two companies declined to disclose the value of the investment in an e-mail reply to The Straits Times, but noted in an earlier press release that they intend to collaborate on solar projects in the Asia-Pacific region, including in Singapore.

Mr Marc van Gerven, vice-president of solar at Shell New Energies, said that Shell was impressed by Sunseap's "ability to deliver innovative and affordable renewable energy solutions".

Sunseap director Frank Phuan said the company looks forward to working with Shell to further grow its business.

"At Sunseap, we recognise that companies such as our recent client, Apple, have a vast network of assets and our distributed solar business model can help such companies to reduce their carbon footprint cost effectively."

Apple recently signed an agreement with Sunseap to procure all of its local energy requirements from renewable sources.

Shell's investment in Sunseap comes ahead of Singapore's opening up of its electricity retail market to competition in the second half of 2018, which will give a boost to electricity retailers such as Sunseap.

Currently, only some 33,000 commercial and industrial consumers with an average monthly electricity consumption of at least 2MWh - which amounts to a monthly electricity bill of about S$450 - benefit from this flexibility.

With the opening up of the market, household users can shop for the best electricity deals based on their usage patterns or preferences.

Renewable markets in Asia are expected to grow as governments in the region have set higher targets on renewable energy use.