527 HDB blocks in Tanjong Pagar to have solar panels to harness green energy by 2025

Solar panels on the rooftop of a HDB block in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10. All 527 HDB blocks in Tanjong PAgar town will be installed with solar photovoltaic systems. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - All 527 eligible Housing Board (HDB) blocks in Tanjong Pagar town will be installed with solar photovoltaic systems to harness solar energy by 2025, the town council set out in a 10-year masterplan to be more energy-efficient.

Once this is done, the blocks are projected to achieve net zero energy consumption on average in common areas, the Tanjong Pagar Town Council said in its 2021 sustainability report, which was released on Sunday (Nov 7).

The systems, which are under the HDB and the Economic Development Board's SolarNova programme, will have a total solar capacity of 26.5 megawatt-peak (MWp) - equivalent to powering 6,600 four-room HDB flats.

The town council also aims to use 15 per cent less energy in common areas by 2030 through energy-saving features for elevators. It is also testing the feasibility of using smart LED lights instead of conventional LED lights.

The town council is also working towards being zero-waste, such as by converting horticulture and food waste into compost.

To divert horticulture waste from landfills, woodchippers are currently used to convert such waste into compost that will be used to fertilise trees.

Since the town council's pilot of the woodchippers in 2019, about 1,600 tonnes of horticulture waste have been reduced, and the town council aims to raise that number to 18,000 tonnes by 2030.

It also aims to add another food digester at one of its 14 hawker centres.

The town council's current food digester at Redhill Food Centre processes about 1,600kg of food waste every month. The use of two food digesters is expected to bump this up to 500 tonnes a year.

Being greener is another one of the town council's goals.

It plans to plant 1,000 more trees by 2025, and 3,000 by 2030 - contributing to the National Parks Board's OneMillionTrees movement that aims to plant a million trees in 10 years. There are now 28,665 trees in Tanjong Pagar town.

Furthermore, if a new community garden called The Giving Garden @ Kim Tian West is a success, it will pave the way for the town council to start more urban farming projects in the future.

All the produce from The Giving Garden will be distributed to residents. It is manned by volunteers, under the guidance of Tanjong Pagar Town Council.

In the report, chairman of Tanjong Pagar Town Council, Mr Melvin Yong, said the council has formed a sustainability committee to level up sustainability efforts, with residents able to provide feedback.

"I am encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by our residents, advocates and partner organisations in meeting the goals set in our sustainability report. We want to continue taking care of public spaces that help to foster strong bonds in the community," he wrote.

The town council will be publishing a report on its progress every two years.

Other town councils have also released masterplans to be more sustainable and green.

Tampines Town Council last year announced a five-year masterplan to add more greenery and develop more community spaces and amenities, as part of plans to transform Tampines into an eco-town.

Other towns to be transformed into eco-towns are Choa Chu Kang and Nee Soon.

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