Published Date: 26 Oct 2015
HDB was conferred the Singapore Energy Award 2015 (Organisation Category) at the Singapore International Energy Week 2015 today. The only recipient under the Organisation category, HDB is the first government organisation to bag this award. The Award recognises HDB’s role in catalysing the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology in Singapore on a wide and impactful scale, through HDB’s Solar Capability Building Programme and Solar Leasing Model.
2 Organised by the Energy Market Authority, the Singapore Energy Award is a prestigious, biennial award that recognises organisations and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to Singapore’s energy sector and society, through achievements in the areas of capabilities development and/or innovation.
3 HDB’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Building), Mr Sng Cheng Keh said, “HDB is honoured to be the first government organisation to receive the Singapore Energy Award. This is a strong affirmation of HDB’s commitment to build capabilities in solar PV technology, which is key to our goal to create sustainable HDB towns. HDB will endeavour to bring such innovation to more towns so that our residents can enjoy cleaner and greener energy”.
4 HDB is currently the largest stakeholder in the installation of solar PV system in Singapore. By end 2015, about 400 HDB blocks islandwide will be installed with solar panels. Power generated by the solar energy harnessed could be used to power common services like lifts, lighting in common areas, and pumps.
5 We have made steady progress in harnessing the power of solar energy in HDB blocks. Currently, about 55 MWp has been procured and committed by HDB (excluding the 40MWp SolarNova tender called in June). This could potentially generate enough electricity to provide for 14,000 units of 4-room flats in one year.
Harnessing Solar Energy: HDB’s Milestones
6 Given the potential to harness solar energy from the extensive rooftop spaces in HDB blocks, HDB embarked on first test-bedding, and subsequently implementing solar PV technology in HDB precincts. The learning points gleaned from the application of solar technology were then shared with the industry to develop their capabilities. Here are the key milestones in HDB’s solar energy journey:
- In 2008, HDB conducted its first solar test-bedding projects at two existing precincts at Serangoon and Wellington.
- In 2009, HDB commenced wide-scale test-bedding of solar PV in selected HDB precincts under the Solar Capability Building Programme, supported by funding from the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development (IMCSD) and Clean Energy Research and Test-bedding Programme (CERT).
- Completed in 2010, Treelodge@Punggol is HDB’s first eco-precinct, and also the first solar PV-integrated public housing.
- Under the solar leasing model first introduced in 2011, private solar PV system developers would design, finance, install, operate and maintain the solar PV systems.
This model was subsequently developed on a wider and more sustainable scale. Town Councils managing the HDB blocks with solar panels will enter into a service agreement with the developer to pay for the solar power generated and consumed, at a preferential rate not higher than the retail electricity tariff rate. This helps the Town Councils to mitigate the rising cost of energy and prevent the raise of S&CC charges. The expertise of private enterprises is harnessed to maximise solar generation without additional cost to the Town Councils.
- In Oct 2014, HDB awarded the first zero-dollar solar leasing tender, with the full cost of the solar PV systems borne by the solar PV developers. Prior to this, part of the cost for solar leasing tenders had been funded by HDB, to kickstart the solar leasing programme. With economies of scale from the wider adoption of the solar leasing model, HDB no longer needed to fund the upfront cost of subsequent projects.
- In June 2015, HDB called the first consolidated tender under the SolarNova programme. This initiative led by the EDB aims to accelerate solar deployment in Singapore through promoting and aggregating solar demand across government agencies. With HDB as the government's central procurement agency for solar panels, agencies with a smaller demand will benefit from economies of scale and enjoy solar energy at a lower cost.
Under this programme, an initial target of 350 MWp of solar energy by 2020 has been set for the public sector, out of which HDB has committed to progressively roll out 220MWp of solar panels at some 5,500 HDB blocks. Moving forward, HDB will be rolling out large-scale solar PV projects year-on-year to achieve this target.