HDB calls first solar leasing tender that combines demand across govt bodies

Solar panels at Treelodge@Punggol, HDB's first eco-precinct. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Solar panels at Treelodge@Punggol, HDB's first eco-precinct. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - The Housing Board has called the first ever tender that consolidates multiple government agencies' demand for the installation of solar panels.

The multi-agency solar leasing tender is for a total capacity of 40 megawatt-peak or MWp, making it the largest to date in both the public and private sectors in Singapore, said the HDB and the Singapore Economic Development Board in a joint statement on Friday.

The tender will see solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at eight Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and PUB sites, as well as an estimated 900 HDB blocks across the island.

It will close on 14 August 2015, and is estimated to be awarded in the fourth quarter of the year. Installation is expected to be finished at the end of 2017.

For the MHA, solar PV systems will be installed at Tuas Checkpoint, Woodlands Checkpoint, Home Team Academy, Airport Police Division and MHA-HQ at Phoenix Park.

For national water agency PUB, the solar PV systems will be at Changi Water Reclamation Plant, Bedok Waterworks and WaterHub.

The tender is the first to be called under the government-led solar lead demand programme, SolarNova, which is spearheaded by the EDB.

Under the programme, EDB encourages government agencies to come together to use solar power, which should then spur the growth of the solar industry in Singapore. SolarNova aims to have solar power contribute 350 MWp to Singapore's energy supply by 2020, and more tenders under the programme will be called over the next four to five years.

With HDB acting as the government's central procurement agency for solar panels, agencies with a smaller demand will benefit from economies of scale and enjoy solar energy at a lower cost.

So far, the HDB has already procured about 55 MWp of solar power, excluding the latest tender. By the end of June this year, about 250 HDB blocks islandwide will have solar panels installed, with installation works in progress for another 772 blocks.

With the latest tender, covering another 900 blocks, almost 2,000 HDB blocks in total will be ready to harness solar energy.