Published Date: 16 Oct 2016
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has called a solar leasing tender aggregating demand for the installation of solar panels across nine government organisations on 10 October 2016, as part of the SolarNova programme led by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). This is the second combined tender led by HDB, with eight other participating government organisations – the largest number of public organisations to date riding on HDB’s bulk tender for solar panels. One key distinction from the first tender is that companies bidding in this tender will be allowed to form consortiums. At a capacity of 40 MWp, this solar tender will see solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at 636 HDB blocks and 31 government sites (refer to Annex A), located island-wide.
2 Besides HDB, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Public Utilities Board (PUB), six new government organisations, namely Ministry of Education (MOE); National Environment Agency (NEA); Ngee Ann Polytechnic; State Courts; Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI); and Ministry of Finance (MOF), are participating in such a bulk tender for solar panels for the first time. This multi-agency solar leasing tender will close on 30 December 2016, and is estimated to be awarded in 1Q2017. The installation is expected to complete in 1Q2019.
3 In view of HDB’s experience in harnessing solar energy and its extensive solar panel installation, HDB is acting as the government’s central procurement agency for solar panels. This approach enables agencies with smaller solar PV demand to enjoy solar energy at a lower cost due to economies of scale. Upon the award of the tender, the individual government organisations will oversee the installation of the solar PV panels for their buildings.
4 Based on the current sustainable business model of solar leasing, HDB (and other participating organisations taking part in the bulk tender) need not fund any portion of the upfront cost for such solar projects. The user parties managing the respective HDB blocks and government buildings will enter into a power purchase agreement with the private sector developer to pay for the solar power consumed, at a preferential rate that will not go beyond the retail electricity tariff rate.
5 The SolarNova programme led by EDB, in partnership with HDB, aggregates demand for solar energy across public sector agencies. This results in economies of scale which lowers the cost of electricity generated from solar energy, and thus accelerates solar adoption in Singapore. The SolarNova programme will contribute strongly to Singapore’s plan to raise the adoption of solar power to 350 MWp by 2020.
6 Executive Director, Cleantech of EDB Mr Goh Chee Kiong said, “Solar energy is now able to achieve multiple benefits for Singapore in terms of lower costs of electricity, environmental sustainability and energy security. The SolarNova programme will also build up critical system integration and project development capabilities which will strengthen Singapore’s position as the leading clean energy hub in the region.”
Harnessing Solar Energy in HDB Estates
7 As the largest stakeholder in the installation of solar PV systems in Singapore, HDB plays a key role in Singapore’s plan to have solar power contribute 350 MWp to Singapore’s energy system by 2020. HDB has committed to progressively roll out 220MWp of solar panels across 5,500 HDB blocks by 2020. With solar PV capacity of 220MWp, 265GWh of clean energy can be generated annually – this is equivalent to powering about 55,000 4-room flats, with carbon emissions reduced by 132,500 tonnes each year. The solar energy harnessed is used to power common services in the HDB estates like lifts, lighting in common areas and pumps, helping town councils to mitigate rising energy costs.
8 Currently, 123 MWp has been procured and committed for installation on HDB blocks (excluding the 40MWp tender called on 10 Oct 2016), crossing the halfway mark of the target of 220 MWp by 2020 as committed by HDB. Of which, 69MWp was committed by HDB under the first SolarNova tender which was awarded in Dec 2015. The physical installation of solar panels at HDB blocks under the first SolarNova tender is expected to commence in Dec 2016 and complete in Dec 2017.
9 By end 2016, the number of HDB blocks installed with solar panels island-wide will more than double to about 900 (providing solar capacity of about 40MWp – the electricity generated is equivalent to powering around 10,000 4-room HDB flats), compared to 400 HDB blocks in 2015. With this latest tender covering another 636 HDB blocks, a total of close to 2,500 HDB blocks will be ready to harness solar energy. More information on HDB’s solar energy journey can be found in Annex B.
 Combined capacity is 40 megawatt peak (MWp), of which HDB will take up about 25 MWp. The remaining 15MWp will be taken up by the other eight government organisations, specifically, MOE 6.57MWp, NEA 2.84MWp, MHA 2.54 MWp, Ngee Ann Polytechnic 1.37MWp, PUB 1.20 MWp, State Courts 0.25MWp, MCI 0.13MWp and MOF 0.07MWp.