Sunseap to supply Facebook in Singapore with solar power from over 1,200 HDB rooftops

Solar panels on a HDB block roof. The deal will help Facebook reach its goal of supporting its operations in the region with 100 per cent renewable energy. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Home-grown Sunseap Group will supply Facebook with solar energy for the social media giant's operations in Singapore, including its first custom-built data centre in Asia.

The deal will help Facebook reach its goal of supporting its operations in the region with 100 per cent renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent, Sunseap said in a media release on Monday (Oct 5). Facebook is one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy globally.

Sunseap said this was the first-of-its-kind virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) between a solar leasing group and Facebook, and the largest in Singapore in terms of solar capacity under a VPPA. A VPPA is a contract structure in which a power buyer agrees to buy a project's renewable energy for a pre-agreed price.

The energy can be produced from a renewable energy project that is located away from a company's premises, but co-located on the same grid.

In this case, the renewable energy credits (RECs) that Facebook will receive will come from excess energy generated by solar panels in Sunseap projects located on the rooftops of 1,200 Housing Board blocks and 49 government buildings across Singapore.

These installations could total 100 megawatt-peak (MWp) of solar energy when fully completed in 2022, enough to power roughly 25,000 four-room flats. The excess solar energy from these sites is exported to the power grid, and the RECs from this exported energy are sold by Sunseap to Facebook under the private VPPA deal.

Sunseap president and executive director Lawrence Wu said: "We believe VPPA is the way to go for enterprises as they accelerate efforts to add renewables to their energy mix.

"Furthermore, companies that are constrained by a lack of space to install solar panels or those that require geographic flexibility will find a virtual contract eminently suitable for their needs."

The company has a pipeline of projects in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of South-east Asia, and successfully commissioned a 168 MWp solar farm in Vietnam last year.

In Singapore, Sunseap has over 300 MWp of solar energy projects contracted, of which 168 MWp have been completed on more than 1,500 buildings.

This article has been edited after clarifications from Sunseap.

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.