BUILDING & ENGINEERING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

PUB, Sembcorp begin building 60MWp floating solar PV system on Tengeh Reservoir

It is expected to start operating by next year, offsetting 7% of PUB’s annual energy needs.

National Water Agency PUB and Sembcorp Industries’ subsidiary Sembcorp Floating Solar have commenced the construction of the 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir, an announcement revealed.

Also read: PUB, Sembcorp inked 25-year power purchase agreement

PUB’s large expanse of water bodies and reservoirs can now serve the dual purpose of water catchment and electricity generation, the press release added. This follows positive trial outcomes and extensive environmental studies which claim that floating solar panels have minimal impact on the reservoir’s water quality and biodiversity.

This large-scale floating solar PV system at Tengeh Reservoir is also said to enable Singapore to be one of the few countries in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment. When the project begins full commercial operations next year, the amount of clean energy generated will be sufficient to power PUB’s local water treatment plants, offsetting 7% of PUB’s annual energy needs.

The project will also incorporate new innovations in floating solar PV design and construction. Every component was designed and selected based on Singapore’s climate conditions in order to maximise energy generation, minimise environmental and water quality impact, and be durable enough to fulfil a service lifespan of 25 years.

These include double-glass PV modules instead of the single-glass variant commonly used for rooftops installations, to enhance durability in a wet and humid environment. The PV modules are supported by certified food-grade quality high density polyethylene (HDPE) floats which are UV-resistant to prevent degradation from the intense sunlight exposure.

To optimise performance and reliability of operations, the system is also 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.

Further, it can detect abnormalities that may indicate potential overheating and fire hazard for preemptive troubleshooting. Staff will be able to monitor the system remotely via a mobile application which allows maintenance teams to be swiftly deployed when required. 

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