Singapore will build its first floating solar system – the first of its kind in the region – in the calm waters of the western Tengeh Reservoir.
The innovative project, led by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and national water agency PUB, will cost $11 million and be operational by 2013.
National Environment Agency (NEA) chief executive Andrew Tan announced this yesterday, noting that the pilot project will be studied for the potential of using reservoir water surfaces for these systems to generate electricity.
This is to overcome Singapore’s land constraints: Solar panels need large land mass to generate a large amount of energy. In Singapore, they are usually built on rooftops.
Speaking at the third Solar Pioneer Awards ceremony, where he was the guest of honour, Mr Tan said he was optimistic that ‘local solar adoption will continue to proliferate, driven by factors such as increased local capabilities, innovation and government support’.
The 2-megawatt solar photovoltaic system – which will be connected to the national grid – will generate enough energy from the sun to power 450 four-room flats at any one time.
Mr Goh Chee Kiong, EDB’s director of clean technology, told The Straits Times: ‘This is a major step for us… if this pilot project works out, the potential is tremendous for rolling out similar projects across the island.’
He added that remote reservoirs would be good locations. Those that currently host recreational activities, such as MacRitchie, will not be considered.