The world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems, a 60MW array on the Tengeh Reservoir in Singapore has started operations.
Construction has been completed and is sending power to the grid, according to Trina Solar, the supplier of modules for the project.
The floating solar plant was developed by Singapore’s PUB (Public Utilities Board) National Water Agency, along with its subsidiary Sembcorp Industries, with construction kicking off in August of 2020.
The project is also one of the first in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment and has received appreciation globally considering the fact that big solar development in Singapore is limited by lack of free land space.
With a total land area of 724.2 square-kilometres, Singapore does not have a lot of room for traditional renewable energy generating technologies.
Even as Solar energy is Singapore’s most viable renewable energy source, large-scale deployment of solar panels is difficult due to its dense urban landscape and limited available land.
Integrated with PUB’s water treatment plants
Further, the array will be integrated with PUB’s water treatment plants, with a 25-year power purchase agreement with Sembcorp to supply power to PUB’s water treatment operations from the floating solar project.
Wong Kim Yin, Group President & CEO, Sembcorp Industries, said, “As Singapore’s leading renewable energy player, Sembcorp is committed to helping our communities live more sustainably. This large-scale floating solar platform, which features the deployment of advanced technological and system innovations, will also enhance Singapore’s global position in renewable energy production.
“With this floating solar power plant, which we believe to be one of the largest in the world, PUB takes a big step towards enduring energy sustainability in water treatment,” said Ng Joo Hee, PUB’s Chief Executive. “Solar energy is plentiful, clean and green, and is key to reducing PUB’s and also Singapore’s carbon footprint.”
Trina Solar, a China-based company said its modules were selected for the job according to ‘very strict requirements’ for their functionality, safety and reliability in a water environment over an expected operational life of more than 25 years.
Construction had started in August last year. The 60MW floating solar plant will be integrated with PUB’s water treatment plants and will generate enough clean energy sufficient to power PUB’s local water treatment plants, offsetting around 6 per cent of its annual energy needs.
“Trina Solar’s 210 Vertex dual-glass modules are a perfect fit for this floating project with its high-power generation and reliability in hot and humid climates, such as Singapore,” a statement from the company said.
“The application of Trina Solar’s 210 Vertex modules in Singapore’s floating project has been a successful showcase,” said the project leader of Trina’s China region, Zhao Lei.
After the Singapore project, more and more country markets show confidence and recognition of the quality of Trina Solar’s 210 Vertex modules, added Lei. Trina also noted that the modules’ higher efficiency and power meant fewer panels were needed for the 60MW project, therby reducing its footprint on the water.