Singapore eyeing 144MWp of floating solar on reservoirs

Singapore’s 60MWp Tengeh floating PV plant was completed last month. Image: Sembcorp Industries.

Singapore’s national water agency PUB is considering the installation of two floating solar projects with a combined capacity of 144MWp as part of efforts to utilise the city-state’s reservoirs for renewables generation.

Lower Seletar Reservoir and Pandan Reservoir have been identified as potential sites for 100MWp and 44MWp floating solar farms, respectively, with PUB looking to award a consultancy tender in November 2021.

PUB will carry out studies and assessments before any decision is made to proceed with deployment. At both reservoirs, the solar PV systems will take up less than 20% of the surface area.

“Singapore is land scarce and our vast reservoir surfaces have great potential for large-scale harnessing of solar energy and contributing significantly to our national climate change mitigation efforts,” PUB said in a statement.

Five PUB water treatment plants are now being powered by solar following last month’s completion of the 60MWp floating PV project at the Tengeh Reservoir, which was built by Singapore-based energy company Sembcorp Industries.

PUB is also planning to deploy two 1.5MWp floating solar PV systems on Bedok and Lower Seletar reservoirs, with both systems expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

As Singapore aims to deploy 2GW of solar by 2030, recent research from consultancy Fitch Solutions said high levels of irradiance in the country make it “very attractive” to prospective developers, although the scarcity of land suitable for large-scale projects will mean that the majority of growth will come from rooftop or floating PV installations.

Last month, Singapore-based developer Sunseap Group secured a contract to construct a 2.2GWp floating solar project on the Indonesian island of Batam that it said will be the world’s largest PV plant when complete in 2024.