More Housing Board residents to benefit from solar power

More Housing Board residents to benefit from solar power

SINGAPORE - Residents in some 680 Housing Board blocks in four residential towns, including Jurong East and Marine Parade, will be able to tap the sun’s energy for their electricity needs by 2016.

And, for the first time, the Housing Board would not have to pay any upfront cost for the installation of the systems that convert sunlight into electricity.

Instead, the full cost of these systems, called solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, will be paid by Sunseap Leasing, the solar firm that won Housing Board’s Oct 27 tender to install the solar PV systems in Jurong East, Marine Parade, Sembawang and Tampines.

“Prior to this, HDB had funded a proportion of the cost for solar leasing tenders called earlier, to kick-start the solar leasing programme,” a Housing Board spokesman said in a statement. She added that for future solar panel installation projects, the HDB will not be funding any portion of the upfront cost due to the “current sustainable business model of solar leasing”.

The town councils of these estates will pay Sunseap for the power generated and consumed for services in common areas.

Under the latest tender, Sunseap will also install solar PV systems at three Housing Board-owned commercial and industrial properties: Woodlands Civic Centre, Eastlink Industrial Building in Bedok, and HDB Hub in Toa Payoh. The upcoming installations would supply 38 megawatts-peak (MWp) of solar power – the largest solar leasing tender awarded by the Housing Board since 2009. The HDB has, to date, committed to providing 54 MWp of solar PV, which will be rolled out progressively. This is enough to generate electricity for 14,000 four-room flats.

By 2020, it hopes to increase this to 220 MWp, by installing solar PV systems at some 5,500 blocks.

audreyt@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 15, 2014.
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