From Dubai’s deepest pool in the world, to the biggest astronomy museum in Shanghai, each country has been working on their respective astounding feat. Now Singapore has unveiled one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms.
It is a project to meet a goal of quadrupling its solar energy production by 2025 to help tackle climate change. Spanning an area of about 45 football fields, the solar farm can produce electrical energy to power Singapore’s five water treatment plants.
Located on a reservoir in western Singapore, the 60 megawatt-peak solar photovoltaic (PV) farm has been built by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries. With the unveiling of the solar farm, it could help reduce carbon emission by about 32 kilo tonnes annually, which is equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road, according to joint statement by the company and Singapore’s national water agency PUB.
Unlike conventional rooftop solar panels, floating ones shows better performance by 5 per cent to 15 per cent because of the cooling effect of the water. Shading from other buildings is also not a concern, according to a presentation on the project.
The electricity generated from the 122,000 solar panels on the 45-hectare (111.2 acres) site should make Singapore one of the few countries in the world to have a water treatment system fully powered by sustainable energy.
All assessments on environmental impact caused by such large-scale projects have been carefully treaded and studied. According to PUB, an assessment was conducted before installing the solar panels to ensure there was no significant impact to wildlife or to the water quality.
“It was carefully designed to improve airflow and allow sunlight passing through the water (to reach aquatic life),” said Jen Tan, a regional head at Sembcorp Industries.
The solar panels are expected to last for 25 years and drones will be used to help with the maintenance. There are four other floating solar panel projects that are currently underway in Singapore.