Apple to power Singapore operations with renewable energy

VALERIE VOLCOVICI AND JULIA LOVE Reuters 15 Nov 15;

Nov 15 Apple announced on Sunday that it has struck a deal to power all of its Singapore operations with renewable energy, the latest in a series of steps from the company to turn its operations worldwide green.

Starting in January, solar energy developer Sunseap Group will provide Apple with 100 percent renewable electricity from its portfolio of solar energy systems built atop more than 800 buildings in Singapore.

The deal will make Apple the first company in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy and marks a significant step in its bid to power 100 percent of its facilities and operations worldwide with clean fuel.

The Apple partnership will also give Sunseap financing to complete the solar project, said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Jackson said in an interview with Reuters that the project was a model in "urban greening" and said it would allow Singaporeans "to get access to energy while we meet our own renewable energy goals."

Apple also announced that it will open its first store in Singapore, which will be powered by the program.

Apple has spearheaded a variety of projects to clean up its operations at home and overseas, announcing plans in October to build 200 megawatts of solar energy projects in China and work with suppliers there to source more renewable energy.

The iPhone maker has also committed to buy power from a California solar farm to supply electricity for its new Silicon Valley campus and other facilities.

Singapore, the site of one of Apple's largest overseas campuses, is small and densely populated, leaving little room for large, ground-mounted solar arrays. That prompted Sunseap to use rooftops to harness power from the sun.

The rooftop solar panels will be placed on both public-owned buildings and Apple's own facilities, generating 50 MW of solar energy, enough to power the equivalent of 9,000 homes, according to Apple.

Apple will receive 33 MW of the project's capacity. The project won the backing of Singapore's development board because it will also provide electricity for public-owned housing, said Jackson.

Sunseap Managing Director Frank Phuan said the Apple partnership may inspire companies to demand more renewable energy.

"We expect a ripple effect for organizations in Singapore to incorporate sustainability practices in their businesses, especially for listed companies," he said in a statement. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Julia Love; editing by Grant McCool and Mary Milliken)


Apple plugs into S’pore solar firm to power its expansion
RUMI HARDASMALANI Today Online 17 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE — Apple is boosting its presence in Singapore and plans to have more than 3,000 employees spread over three locations here, including new premises in one-north and Orchard Road, TODAY understands. The expansion comes as the United States tech giant is expected to spend about S$70 million over a decade to power all of its operations in Singapore with solar energy.

Beginning in January, the iPhone- and Apple Watch-maker will source 40 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power from rooftop solar installations made by Sunseap Group, the Singapore-based solar energy provider said today (Nov 16). The deal will provide Apple’s facilities with 100 per cent clean energy.

In addition to Apple’s existing office in Ang Mo Kio, two of its other proposed locations — a corporate office at one-north and its own Apple Store providing after-sales service at Orchard Road — will be powered by green energy.

Given that one kilowatt hour of high-tension power in Singapore is priced at about 18 cents, Apple’s energy requirement translates to about S$70 million over 10 years, an industry source told TODAY. This is an estimated value as energy prices fluctuate widely over time, he added.

The deal will make Apple the first company in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy, but the US technology giant declined to disclose the dollar value of the investment or the locations of its new premises.

Ms Lisa Jackson, its vice-president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said: “This deal will cover all of our electricity needs in Singapore, including our 2,500-person corporate campus and new retail store. We are thrilled to be working with Sunseap and the Government of Singapore to pioneer new ways to bring solar energy to the country — and bring Apple even closer to our goal of powering our facilities around the world with 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Ms Angela Ahrendts, senior vice-president, retail and online stores, said: “We have more than 900 incredible employees working in our Singapore contact centre and are thrilled to begin hiring the team that will open our first Apple Store in Singapore — an incredible international city and shopping destination. We can’t wait to deliver the service, education and entertainment that is loved by Apple customers around the world.”

Mr Frank Phuan, co-founder of Sunseap Group, said: “Unlike the US, a mature market where carbon credits can be traded, Singapore does not have a carbon credit regime. Our deal with Apple is unique in that sense.”

Sunseap has tailored a solution for Apple, combining on-site rooftop solar leasing of 1.1MW peak from its Ang Mo Kio facility rooftop and up to 40 GWh worth of clean energy delivered via an off-site Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Mr Phuan said. As a licensed wholesaler and retailer, Sunseap is able to channel solar energy produced in its portfolio of 800 rooftop solar farms into Apple’s facilities under the PPA.

“This solution will allow Apple to be the first company to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy in Singapore ... Besides Apple, Sunseap is also working with various government agencies and energy service companies to provide new clean energy product offerings, allowing clients to realise sustainability goals,” Mr Phuan added.

This project is a testament to Singapore’s position as the leading clean energy hub in Asia where companies can conveniently develop, test and commercialise innovative energy technologies and business models, said Mr Goh Chee Kiong, executive director of Cleantech at the Economic Development Board.

“We are confident that this pioneering business model of offsite power purchase agreements will help Singapore address our space scarcity challenge and spur even more companies in Singapore to scale their renewable energy usage,” he said.

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