Facebook has signed an agreement with Singapore’s Sunseap Group, which will see the social media giant’s Singapore data center powered by solar energy generated from over 1,200 HDB rooftops.
The deal will help Facebook reach its goal of supporting its operations in Asia with 100% renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.
“We are very excited to partner with Facebook to introduce a virtual power purchase agreement to Singapore and the rest of the region,” said Lawrence Wu, the President and Executive Director of Sunseap Group.
This virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) will be the first of its kind between Sunseap Group and Facebook as well as the largest in Singapore in terms of solar capacity.
“We believe VPPA is the way to go for enterprises as they accelerate efforts to add renewables to their energy mix,” said Mr. Wu.
Through solar panels located on 1,200 public housing residential blocks and 49 Government buildings across Singapore, a total of 100 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) could be reached when fully completed in 2022.
“This is a game-changer in Asia’s drive to decarbonise and fight climate change,” celebrated Mr. Wu.
A VPPA is a contract structure where a power buyer like Facebook agrees to purchase a project’s renewable energy for a pre-agreed price from a supplier like Sunseap Group.
“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,” said Mr. Wu.
The energy produced can be from a renewable energy project that is located away from a company’s premises, but co-located on the same grid. In the case of Facebook, they will receive renewable energy credits from electricity produced from the solar panels.
“We want to help drive the energy transition and increase access to wind and solar power around the world,” said Urvi Parekh, the Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook.
Facebook designs, builds and operates some of the most efficient data center facilities in the world. Facebook started using solar energy to power its Singapore data center after signing a 20-year deal with Sembcorb in 2019, forming Facebook’s first renewable energy partnership in Asia.
“This project will be an important part of successfully reaching our targets in the region, including supporting our data center operations with renewable energy, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Sunseap to add this new solar power to the Singapore grid,” added Ms. Parekh.
The agreement with Sunseap will also support Facebook’s offices in the region.
Facebook is one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy globally. Currently, the social media organisation has contracted for more than 5.4 gigawatts of new renewable energy in support of its global operations.
Sunseap is one of the largest developers in the region with a total contracted, completed and developmental asset project capacity of 1.7 GigaWatt-peak across Asia Pacific.
It has a pipeline of projects in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia. In total, Sunseap has over 300 MWp of solar energy projects contracted in Singapore, of which 168 MWp have been completed on more than 1,500 buildings.
The solar energy system developer recently celebrated its first anniversary for one of the largest solar farm projects in Vietnam, which has since benefitted 200,000 citizens.