Sembcorp Floating Solar Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries, along with national water agency PUB have commenced construction of the 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir.

The system, once built, will be one of the world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems. The system will help reduce dependency on fossil fuels and carbon emissions, and build national climate resilience for a more sustainable future, say the companies in a joint release on August 18.

The large-scale floating solar PV system – the first of its kind in the region – will enable Singapore to be one of the few countries in the world to integrate green technology with water treatment.

The project will also incorporate new innovations in floating solar PV design and construction.

According to both PUB, when the project begins full commercial operations in 2021, 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.

Solar energy is Singapore’s most viable renewable energy source, but large-scale deployment of solar panels is challenging due to its dense urban landscape and limited land.

Beyond rooftops and vertical spaces, PUB’s large expanse of water bodies and reservoirs can now serve the dual purpose of water catchment and electricity generation.

“As Singapore’s leading renewable energy player, Sembcorp is committed to helping our communities live more sustainably. This large-scale floating solar platform, which features the deployment of advanced technological and system innovations, will also enhance Singapore’s global position in renewable energy production. We are excited and honoured to partner PUB on this landmark project to provide green power to our nation,” says Wong Kim Yin, Sembcorp Industries’ group president and CEO.

“With this floating solar power plant, which we believe to be one of the largest in the world, PUB takes a big step towards enduring energy sustainability in water treatment. Solar energy is plentiful, clean and green, and is key to reducing PUB’s and also Singapore’s carbon footprint,” says Ng Joo Hee, PUB CEO.

As at 9.22am, shares in Sembcorp are trading flat at $1.89.