The conventional renewable energy farms like solar and wind needs space – a lot of it. This important factor places a bottleneck on the green energy ambitions of Singapore, an island state with a population of 5.63 million and a land area of 724 sq. kms.The high levels of urbanization and the towering metropolis are not favourable to solar and wind farms. However, open rooftops and reservoirs can cater to this need. The 60 MW floating solar plant on the Tangeh reservoir is currently under construction. The project is a collaboration between Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Sembcorp Industries.
Launching next year (2021), the solar plant aims to provide the clean energy required to power the local water treatment plants under the PUB. This can offset nearly 6% of the annual energy consumption in the island. The plant design had to account for the hot and humid climate in this region. The floats are made of UV-resistant high density polyethylene (HDPE), and the solar panels are made of double-glass modules to increase their durability and life span. PV panels are tilted for efficient energy generation and rainwater drainage. They are also coated with anti-reflective materials to minimize glare. An online digital monitoring systems provides 24/7 monitoring of the facility. The floats are affixed to the reservoir beds using cables. In addition, the facility also has the expandability to connect to a battery storage system in future.
The system goes online in 2021. As per estimates, it will be able to offset nearly 32 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. After launch, this large-scale plant in Tengeh province will be one of the largest floating solar system in the world. The water treatment facilities under PUB will join the very few ones which uses 100% renewable energy for operations.