Sunseap to supply Facebook ops here with solar power

Home-grown Sunseap Group will supply solar energy for Facebook operations in Singapore, including its first custom-built data centre in Asia.

The deal will help the social media giant 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 yesterday. Facebook is one of the world's largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy.

Sunseap said this was the first-of-its-kind virtual power purchase agreement between a solar leasing group and Facebook, and the largest in Singapore in terms of solar capacity under such a deal.

A virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) involves a customer agreeing to buy a project's renewable energy for a pre-agreed price. The energy can be produced from a project 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 virtual power purchase agreements are 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 local company has a pipeline of projects in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of South-east Asia, and commissioned a 168 MWp solar farm in Vietnam last year.

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

This article has been edited after clarifications from Sunseap.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2020, with the headline Sunseap to supply Facebook ops here with solar power. Subscribe