• Singapore government’s HDB agency plans to install solar PV panels on the open sea
  • It has hired landscaping firm ISO Landscape to test its floating module system in open sea conditions
  •  HDB has designed a floating test module system

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) of Singapore has been thinking about setting up floating solar power plants on the sea. Local media reported the agency will sign a research collaboration with a landscaping firm to conduct a feasibility study.

Local landscaping firm ISO Landscape will test a module system that can hold a floating PV structure in open sea conditions. It aims to find out the ability of solar panels to stand against harsher environmental conditions of the sea compared to lakes, not to forget salty water. HDB has designed this floating module system, reported The Straits Times.

The government agency had first tested such a system in 2011 at a man-made waterway in Punggol to hold wetland plants. Later, the system was deployed at a solar panel test bed in the Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas, according to the report.

An island nation, Singapore has limited land for deploying solar power plants. HDB has been tasked with generating 350 MW of solar power capacity by 2020 by utilizing available rooftop space Recently, the HDB auctioned 50 MW rooftop solar capacity to a consortium of Sembcorp Solar Singapore and Kurihara Kogyo (see Singapore Awards 50 MW Rooftop PV Tender). Installing PV off shore is apparently considered a further future option to harness solar power.