Sembcorp to build Singapore's largest floating solar farm covering 45 football fields

The floating solar photovoltaic testbed at Tengeh Reservoir.
The floating solar photovoltaic testbed at Tengeh Reservoir.PHOTO: PUB

SINGAPORE - One of the world's largest floating systems to convert solar energy into electricity - covering about 45 football fields - will be constructed here by Sembcorp Solar Singapore.

In a move announced by national water agency PUB on Monday (Feb 10), Sembcorp was appointed to construct the solar farm at Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas which, when completed in 2021, could generate enough energy to power about 16,000 four-room Housing Board flats.

It is also expected to reduce carbon emissions here by around 32 kilotonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 7,000 cars off Singapore's roads.

PUB said Sembcorp's proposal, which beat those by three other local and overseas companies, uses "highly efficient" panels and has a layout that maximises energy generation. It will have a capacity of 60 megawatt-peak, or 60 MWp, and will meet 7 per cent of PUB's total energy needs.

PUB said in its statement that it will use the green energy converted from light at the panel in its water treatment processes.

Sembcorp has solar projects across more than 1,500 sites around the world. It also operates the Sembcorp Changi NEWater plant which was opened in 2010 and awarded by PUB.

The Tengeh Reservoir project was announced by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli at the Ecosperity Conference last year as part of Singapore’s strategy to tackle climate change.

He said in his speech then that “the status quo in the way we consume our resources and grow our economy is not sustainable” and that extreme weather phenomena caused by climate change will put increasing pressure on critical resources like food, energy and water.

The Government also said last year that by 2030, Singapore will ramp up its solar capacity to more than seven times of current levels to meet 4 per cent of Singapore’s total electricity demand.

Apart from greater use of solar energy, Mr Masagos also said then that there are plans to convert incinerated bottom ash into construction material and to use food waste as agricultural input on local farms.

Climate change has become an increasing concern among Singaporeans and the rest of the world, with the Republic’s first climate rally –held last year at Hong Lim Park – attracting 2,000 people.