PUB embarks on study to tap into solar energy via reservoirs

The study, which will last nine months, will determine the usable space for installing solar panels on reservoirs and at land-based facilities such as waterworks and water reclamation plants.
Channel NewsAsia 23 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB is embarking on a nine-month feasibility study to determine the potential of harnessing solar energy at its reservoirs and facilities.

In a media release on Monday (Nov 23), PUB said findings from the study will determine the usable space for solar deployment and guide the agency's efforts in that area.

Ten reservoirs have been identified to be part of the project. They are:

Sarimbun Reservoir
Murai Reservoir
Poyan Reservoir
Tengeh Reservoir
Kranji Reservoir
Pandan Reservoir
Upper Peirce Reservoir
Lower Peirce Reservoir
Upper Seletar Reservoir
Lower Seletar Reservoir
PUB added that solar PV technology has been identified as a key renewable energy source, that could potentially be deployed across Singapore.

"The reservoirs, with their open surface area, offer much potential for solar energy generation," PUB said. The study will assess the extent to which solar panels can be installed and the solar yield that can be achieved, before a business model and implementation plan are proposed.

Besides reservoirs, the study will also look into the solar deployment potential at land-based facilities such as waterworks and water reclamation plants, PUB said.

"Through this study, PUB is keen to explore how we can balance the installation of solar panels on water surface with other competing water activities at our reservoirs. Together with other solar energy projects PUB has embarked on, we are on track to diversifying our energy options from conventional, non-renewable fossil fuels, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint and promoting more sustainable use of energy resources”, said Chief Sustainability Officer at PUB Tan Nguan Sen.

Earlier this year, Choa Chu Kang Waterworks began tapping into solar power for its energy needs through 3,333 pieces of solar panels, enough to meet about 7 per cent of the plant's daily energy needs.

PUB, the Economic Development Board and the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore are also test-bedding a floating solar system at Tengeh Reservoir, including an environmental study to measure the impact of such systems on reservoir evaporation, biodiversity and water quality, PUB said. The panels are expected to be installed by 2016.

The water agency added that it is participating in HDB's solar leasing tender to install solar PV systems at Changi Water Reclamation Plant, Bedok Waterworks and WaterHub by 2017, and had earlier invested in Marina Barrage's Solar Park as well.

- CNA/dl

PUB starts feasibility study on installing solar panels at reservoirs
LAURA ELIZABETH PHILOMIN Today Online 23 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE — The PUB is conducting a nine-month feasibility study to explore greater use of reservoirs and facilities to deploy solar PV panels, the national water agency announced in a press release today (Nov 23).

The S$338,000 study will assess the extent to which solar panels can be installed at 10 reservoirs identified for this study, such as Kranji, Upper Peirce and Lower Seletar. The study will also assess the amount of solar energy that can be generated before proposing a business model and implementation plan, said PUB.

In addition to reservoirs, the study will also look at the solar deployment potential of other land-based facilities such as waterworks and water reclamation plants.

“With Singapore reaching a critical mass for solar installations coupled with the declining cost of solar technology, PUB wants to ride on this wave and explore how some of our reservoirs can support floating solar systems. Through this study, PUB is keen to explore how we can balance the installation of solar panels on water surface with other competing water activities at our reservoirs,” said PUB’s Chief Sustainability Officer Tan Nguan Sen.

“Together with other solar energy projects PUB has embarked on, we are on track to diversifying our energy options from conventional, non-renewable fossil fuels, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint and promoting more sustainable use of energy resources,” he added.


PUB studying potential of solar panels at more reservoirs
Audrey Tan, The Straits Times AsiaOne 24 Nov 15;

Floating solar panel systems could be a feature at more reservoirs here, to help get more energy from the sun.

PUB, the national water agency, is embarking on a nine-month feasibility study to assess the possibility of installing solar panels at its reservoirs and other facilities, it said yesterday.

The $338,000 study will determine the usable space for solar deployment, and guide PUB's future efforts in this area.

Ten reservoirs, namely Sarimbun, Murai, Poyan, Tengeh, Kranji, Pandan, Upper Peirce, Lower Peirce, Upper Seletar and Lower Seletar, have been identified for the study.

PUB chief sustainability officer Tan Nguan Sen told The Straits Times that the 10 were chosen based on factors such as the lack of congestion and visibility.

Besides reservoirs, the study will also look into the solar deployment potential at land-based facilities such as waterworks and water reclamation plants.

The study will be conducted by a consortium led by renewable energy systems company WEnergy Global, with SMS Consulting Engineers and Progressive Engineering and Management as consortium members.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology - which converts energy from the sun into electricity - has been identified as a key renewable energy source with high potential for large-scale deployment here.

Last year, researchers from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (Seris) said the sun could supply almost a third of Singapore's electricity by 2050. But this hinges on factors such as Singapore's ability to reduce its electricity demand and expand its solar PV capacity.

Dr Thomas Reindl, Seris deputy chief executive, welcomed PUB's latest announcement, saying solar installations on reservoirs could help the Republic overcome space constraints. But one important factor that must be considered is cost.

He said: "To be competitive, the floating PV systems cannot be substantially more expensive than installations on land. This not only includes the floating structure itself, but also the interconnection to the grid and/or PUB facilities."

Currently, Singapore gets more than 90 per cent of its electricity from natural gas. But tapping more solar energy would put Singapore in a better position to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions further.

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