Singapore unveiled on Wednesday one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms, spanning an area equivalent to 45 football fields and producing enough electricity to power the island’s five water treatment plants. The project is part of efforts by the land-scarce Southeast Asian city-state to meet a goal of quadrupling its solar energy production by 2025 to help tackle climate change.
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, comparable to taking 7,000 cars off the roads, 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, and are not impacted by shading from other buildings, according to a presentation on the project. 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.