Construction begins on 60 MW floating PV plant in Singapore

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The Sembcorp Floating Solar Singapore unit of utilities and marine group Sembcorp Industries has begun work on a 60 MW floating solar power plant at Singapore’s Tengeh Reservoir. “This follows positive trial outcomes and extensive environmental studies which show that floating solar panels have minimal impact on the reservoir’s water quality and biodiversity,” the company said in a statement.

The solar facility will provide power under a 25-year PPA with the water treatment facilities of the Public Utilities Board (Pub) national water agency, which selected Singapore company Sembcorp for the project in late February. Around 7% of the agency’s power demand will be covered by the floating PV plant.

The installation will rely on double-glass panels supplied by an unnamed provider and certified food-grade quality, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floats which are UV-resistant to prevent degradation from the intense sunlight exposure, the company said without disclosing more technical details on the required hardware.

“To optimise performance and reliability of operations, the system is backed by a digital monitoring platform which features safety cameras, live video monitoring, dashboards and alerts that help to track environmental factors such as wind speed, solar irradiation and ambient temperature,” Sembcorp added. “The system also detects abnormalities that may indicate potential overheating and fire hazard for preemptive troubleshooting.”

Project completion is scheduled for 2021. The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore has been using the Tengeh Reservoir as a test bed for floating solar since 2017.

Norwegian technical consultancy DNV GL has been appointed technical advisor for the project.

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