Terrenus Energy and Facebook have signed an agreement for 19 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy from a solar farm being developed at Changi Business Park. This innovative project will help maximise the use of land by deploying portable solar panels and a first-of-its-kind mobile substation. This Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (vPPA) will help Facebook meet its goal of supporting its operations in the region with 100 per cent renewable energy.
The SolarLand Phase 2 Project, awarded in October 2019 to Terrenus Energy by JTC Corporation, involves the deployment of 35,185 portable solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. When installed, this project will be one of the largest ground-mounted solar projects in Singapore.
Spanning 11.6 hectares of interim vacant land, with an estimated capacity of up to 19 megawatt-peak (MWp), the site is expected to generate clean electricity to the national grid over the next 20 years, equivalent to powering approximately 3,365 HDB 4-room flats annually. Facebook will receive all the environmental attributes, also known as renewable energy credits (RECs), associated with the generated electricity. This will result in an estimated reduction of 7,500 tonnes of carbon emission annually, equivalent to planting 536,700 trees or taking 1,000 cars off the road in Singapore.
Terrenus Energy CEO Charles Wong said the deployment of solar PV panels coupled with innovative solutions such as the mobile substations on vacant land and linkway spaces will help to boost the solar capacity within Singapore and make every surface count. While it is relatively easier for Singapore and other countries to develop greenfield projects such as zero carbon footprint buildings, the challenge is how we can find creative yet cost-friendly ways to convert temporary unused land into commercially viable green energy power plants. That has been the driving goal that Terrenus Energy is striving towards.
Group Director of Engineering from JTC Calvin Chung said: “Sustainability is now a key part of business strategy, with many manufacturers transitioning towards greener processes. JTC has been working closely with our partners and customers to use our industrial estates as platforms to testbed and develop new sustainability solutions. One way is by increasing renewable energy supply by making available temporarily unused space in our estates for solar deployment, through the SolarRoof and SolarLand programmes. By doing so, we hope to encourage more businesses to adopt renewable energy and lower their carbon footprint.”
Renewable Energy Manager from Facebook Inc Urvi Parekh said: “At Facebook, we believe in finding new, innovative approaches that can create sustainable solutions. That is why we are happy to partner Terrenus Energy to deploy these portable solar panels and mobile substation to help us reach our goal of 100 per cent renewable energy for our operations. In a land constrained location like Singapore, these types of creative solutions can create a real impact by maximising the amount of renewable energy available to customers.”
In addition to the solar PV deployment, Terrenus Energy will be implementing various innovation projects in relation to the SolarLand Phase 2 Project including the deployment of robotic cleaning for the solar panels, hydropanels for cleaning and irrigation, as well as the deployment and integration of urban farming underneath the solar panels, which will be another first in Singapore.