8 hawker centres included in solar power push

A trip to the hawker centre for a plate of chicken rice has never been so environmentally friendly.

In what is believed to be a first, eight hawker centres in Singapore will soon be powered by the sun as part of the island's push to tap the renewable energy for its electricity needs. They include Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre, Dunman Food Centre and Sembawang Hills Food Centre. They will join housing blocks, schools and Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium as among those slated for solar panel installation by the first quarter of 2019.

The Housing Board and the Economic Development Board (EDB) yesterday announced that they have called for a tender to install solar panels in 636 HDB blocks under Marsiling-Yew Tee and Ang Mo Kio town councils, as well as in 31 government sites of eight other government organisations, such as the National Environment Agency, State Courts, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education.

In total, these solar panels will be able to generate 40 megawatt peak (MWp) of energy.

The schools involved include Farrer Park Primary School and Tampines Secondary School. But they will not be the first educational institutions here to go green in such a manner. The Singapore American School in Woodlands, Hwa Chong International School and Marsiling Secondary School have installed solar panels on their grounds.

The number of government bodies participating in the latest bulk tender is the largest to date. It is part of the EDB-led SolarNova initiative set up to work towards Singapore's aim to raise the adoption of solar energy to 350MWp by 2020.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline '8 hawker centres included in solar power push'. Print Edition | Subscribe