SINGAPORE - The first contract allowing solar energy to be fully exported to the power grid was awarded on Wednesday (June 21) by government agency JTC.
Local solar energy firm Sun Electric will rent rooftop spaces on 27 JTC buildings, to supply, maintain and install solar panels capable of generating up to 5 megawatt-peak (MWp) of electricity. This will be rolled out over the course of one year.
The company can sell the solar power to occupants of those buildings or to other users, in the open energy market. JTC's new SolarRoof rental model gives providers such as Sun Electric ownership of all the solar power generated, which can be fed directly into the grid.
In existing leasing models, the solar energy primarily serves users of the building itself, before excess power goes into the grid. These models were less suitable for JTC's multi-tenanted properties, said its facilities and estate management director Mark Koh, "because we don't own and occupy all our buildings".
With the SolarRoof programme, JTC hopes to promote the adoption of solar energy in Singapore and to leverage available roof space. Energy providers under this scheme must comply with all relevant regulations from other governing bodies such as the Building and Construction Authority and Energy Market Authority (EMA).
EMA chief executive Ng Wai Choong said that there has been a significant growth in market interest in green energy, with solar photovoltaic capacity tripling over the last three years to reach 129.8MWp in the first quarter of this year (2017).
Mr Ng added: "We welcome innovative business models that meet the needs of different consumers. EMA will also continue simplifying rules and regulations to facilitate more solar deployment in Singapore."
The roof area of the 27 properties is roughly 43,000 sq m and Sun Electric has secured a 15-year contract with a five-year renewal option. It also has the option of adding new properties to its stable of JTC roofs.