HDB Singapore Launches Sixth SolarNova Tender With Smart Electrical Sub-meters To Optimise Energy Use

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The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has called the sixth solar leasing tender under the SolarNova programme, led jointly with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). The latest tender, with a solar capacity of 70 megawatt-peak (MWp), aggregates public sector demand for the installation of solar panels across 1,198 HDB blocks and 57 government sites. As part of this tender, vendors will be required to install smart electrical sub-meters at HDB blocks to track energy usage.


Including this SolarNova tender, HDB has committed a total solar capacity of 330 MWp for 6,901 HDB blocks. This is equivalent to powering 82,500 4-room flats with solar energy, potentially reducing carbon emissions by 198,000 tonnes per year and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.


Having achieved our earlier solar target of 220 MWp, HDB had, in 2019 announced a new solar target of 540 MWp by 2030. This new target could potentially generate 648 GWh of green energy annually, contributing towards the national solar targets of 1.5 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2025, and 2 GWp by 2030 as set out under the Singapore Green Plan. It is also in line with the HDB Green Towns Programme to harness green energy and bring sustainable living to all HDB towns.

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Sixth SolarNova Tender Optimises Energy Use with Smart Data


Under the SolarNova programme, solar energy that is harnessed is first used to power common services (e.g. lifts, lights and water pumps) in HDB estates in the day, with excess energy channelled to the electrical grid. On average, HDB blocks are able to achieve net-zero energy consumption at common areas.

 As part of this sixth SolarNova tender, vendors will be required to install smart electrical sub-meters at HDB blocks. The meters will enable HDB and the Town Councils to monitor and analyse energy consumption patterns and the performance of common services at each block. With the data, Town Councils can compare energy usage across HDB blocks, and track the demand and supply of energy for individual blocks in the estate. The data collected will help the Town Councils to optimise maintenance cycles of common services, as well as detect anomalies such as equipment fault. This is in line with HDB’s efforts to harness smart technologies to develop Smart Estates1, one of the key pillars of the Smart HDB Town Framework. 

HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tan Meng Dui said, “With the experience gained from implementing solar systems over the last ten years, HDB has gone beyond harnessing green energy to optimising the consumption of solar energy and making our housing estates more energy-efficient. As new innovations and solutions emerge, HDB will continue to strengthen our solar capabilities and expand our installed capacity, as part of the national effort to develop greener and more sustainable towns, while reducing Singapore’s carbon footprint.”

 The sixth SolarNova tender involves the participation of four agencies, namely Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of National Development and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. The solar leasing tender will close on 7 May 2021 and is targeted to be awarded in 4Q 2021. Installation of the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is expected to be completed by 2Q 2024.

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Prior to this tender, the fifth solar tender under the SolarNova Programme had attracted five bids from both local and foreign companies. HDB has awarded the tender to Sembcorp Solar Singapore Pte. Ltd. Under the tender, installation of solar PV systems at 1,154 HDB blocks and 46 government sites is expected to begin in 1Q 2021 and complete by 3Q 2023, with a solar PV capacity of 60 MWp to be reaped islandwide.

  As of December 2020, about 2,470 HDB blocks have been installed with solar panels. Installation of solar panels at another 2,080 HDB blocks is in progress or will commence soon. As the largest driver for installation of solar PV systems in Singapore, HDB remains committed to supporting Singapore’s efforts to accelerate its usage of green energy. To this end, HDB will intensify its efforts to deploy higher efficiency solar panels, install solar panels on more HDB rooftops, and catalyse the public sector’s adoption of solar energy in the coming years.

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