Singapore unveiled one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms, producing enough electricity to power the island’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.
The solar farm could help to reduce carbon emissions by about 32 kilotonnes annually, according to a joint statement by the company and Singapore’s national water agency PUB. As opposed to conventional rooftop solar panels, floating ones perform between 5% to 15% better because of the cooling effect of the water.
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. “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 designed to last for 25 years and drones will be used to help with maintenance.