Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

World’s largest floating solar park to be built in Singapore

Solar farms installed in agricultural areas and solar panels fitted to the roofs of buildings are no longer a rarity these days. Their efficiency, however, is not optimal, and occupying crop land isn’t a very practical solution, either. In China and Singapore, attempts are being made to maximize the production of renewable energy by using waterborne, floating photovoltaic power generation systems.

In recent years, floating solar parks on water reservoirs to supply energy have become increasingly common. In contrast with roof-mounted solar panels, there is nothing to cast a shadow to limit exposure to the sun, while the reflexivity and cooling effect of the water increases the efficiency of the solar panels.

The output of solar plants can be increased by 5–15% by installing them on water rather than land.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the country’s minister for the environment and water resources has recently announced that by 2021, they will build the world’s largest floating solar park. Experimental projects were began at Tengeh Reservoir in 2016, followed by engineering and environmental protection studies in 2017.

According to the results
of the research, the solar power plant would have a minimal impact on the environment and water quality, so extension of the floating solar plant
has continued, and it is planned that the park, initially of 1 MWp capacity, will be upgraded to 50 MWp.

The installation of additional 50 MWp systems is planned in the future, while at Kranji Reservoir, a 100 MWp system could be built, which would produce the annual energy requirement of
27,000 four-person families, resulting in a 52 kilotonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the removal of 11,200 cars from the roads each year.

Experimental solar park floating on a reservoir in Singapore Photo: PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency
Further information: PUB

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