JTC will double the potential of Jurong Island to harness solar energy by launching a tender to install solar panels on 60ha of temporary vacant ground and additional rooftops at the oil hub.
JTC stated that these plans will increase the total solar energy capacity of Jurong Island from 12.3 MWp to 103.2 MWp. This is equivalent to powering 24,300 four-room Housing Board apartments annually.
The tender will see solar panels installed on interim industrial land, which is roughly the same size as 84 football fields, and on the roofs of 5 Jurong Island buildings, including Jurong Island Checkpoint. It also includes land in Jurong Rock Caverns.
They will also cover 9,760 sq.m of dead space, which is water bodies that aren’t in use within the companies’ waterfront – right in front of Jurong Rock Caverns.
JTC said that the system is expected to be operational in the second half of the year 2024. It will export the majority of its electricity to the national grid.
This is part of an effort to transform Jurong Island into a sustainable energy park and chemicals park and reduce its carbon footprint.
The Jurong Island solar panels will cover approximately 5% of Singapore’s 2030 solar target. By then, the Republic plans to have a solar capacity of 2 gigawatts peak, which is a crucial pillar in the country’s transition from global warming fossil fuels.
Singapore has solar energy as its most viable source of renewable energy. It has large ports and low wind speeds, making it difficult to harness tide energy.
JTC is working with estates that have more than 14,000 businesses to install solar panels. This will help overcome the limited land available for large solar farms in Singapore.
Tan Chee Kiat, chief sustainability officer at JTC, stated that Jurong Island would be one of Singapore’s most important solar-generating estates.
The tender was called in the month of December 2022. It will include next-generation mobile solar photovoltaic panels, which can be moved as and when industrial land is needed.
The tender will also help 12 Jurong Island businesses meet their solar needs. They can work with the vendor and solarise their roofs or open spaces in their carparks at a discounted rate and, if possible, without any upfront capital outlay.
JTC stated that they can either lease solar panels to receive discounted electricity or rent roof space or carpark space to solar vendors in order to generate revenue. Jurong Island businesses will enjoy greater competitive rates because they can benefit from economies of scale when they aggregate the island’s solar demand.
ExxonMobil is one of the many companies that has ventured into building blocks for solar panels.
ExxonMobil Asia-Pacific’s Singapore chemical plant technical Director Mr. Rajagopalan Venkataraman said, “In Singapore, I launched solar-powered wireless tools for equipment monitoring at the integrated manufacturing complex a few years ago.
“We are continuing to explore the options to electrify operations with lower-emission power, and we are working with other organizations to harness solar power from our rooftops.”
JTC will solarise conventional spaces like rooftops and is also working with Jurong Island companies to enable the installation of floating solar panels within their waterfront, between the foreshore structures of the firms, and the shoreline.
Vendors who are interested in JTC’s tender can submit their applications online via GeBiz before March 17.
Dr. David Broadstock is a Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore Energy Studies Institute. He said that the installation of solar panels on large roofs, carparks, and other areas shows that there are still possibilities to co-use spaces that were previously deemed unsuitable for solar.
He said that the security and resilience of locally-harvested solar energy is very appealing in the context of energy markets, which remain fragile.