Choa Chu Kang Waterworks now powered in part by solar energy

SINGAPORE - National water agency PUB's Choa Chu Kang Waterworks is now run partially by solar energy, after the installation of more than 3,300 solar panels.

The energy harnessed will be used to power a portion of the plant's lighting, air-conditioning and water treatment operations, amounting to 7 per cent of its average daily energy consumption.

The panels, which span a total of about 6,700 sq m, will generate the estimated equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption of about 250 HDB households.

This also means preventing the emission of about 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Installation of the panels, in different locations in the waterworks, started in May last year. They started running at full capacity on May 21 this year.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said at a media tour of the Choa Chu Kang Waterworks on Thursday that, with the fall in prices of solar panels, solar energy is now in fact cheaper than grid energy.

Giving an update on the water-based solar panels at Tengeh Reservoir, he said environmental studies have started to look at the impact on water quality, bio-diversity and evaporation.

A tender to build supporting infrastructure on land will be called by September and construction work is slated to start before the end of this year.

Earlier this year, it was reported that solar panels will also be installed at the Changi Water Reclamation plant, Bedok Waterworks and Waterhub.