Singapore: PUB looks to Bedok and Lower Seletar Reservoirs for more solar power

Image credit: PUB

PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, looks set to produce more solar energy, with a tender to conduct engineeriong studies for the deployment of floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Bedok Reservoir as well as Lower Seletar Reservoir. This is in line with PUB’s vision to further tap on its installations to generate renewable energy and reduce its carbon footprint.


Powering PUB installations with solar energy

Energy is required throughout the water loop – from the pumping of raw water from reservoirs to waterworks, production of drinking water, treatment of wastewater, as well as the production of NEWater and desalinated water. Moreover, there is potential to replace some of the grid energy needed by its operations with solar energy generated by solar panels installed on the roof spaces of existing installations and on the surfaces of the reservoirs.

PUB’s tender for engineering studies will look into the detailed designs for a one megawatt peak (1MWp) floating solar PV system at Lower Seletar Reservoir and a 1.5MWp floating solar PV system at Bedok Reservoir. Occupying around one to 1.5 ha respectively, each solar PV system will take up less than two per cent of the total surface area at the reservoirs. The floating solar panels will be installed away from the current water activities zones at both reservoirs. Moreover, alongside the floating solar PV systems, PUB will also install a 0.5MWp PV system on the roof of Bedok Waterworks within the year.

Collectively, the solar PV systems at Bedok Reservoir and Bedok Waterworks will supply solar energy to both the Pump Station – which pumps raw water from Bedok Reservoir to Bedok Waterworks for treatment – and the Waterworks that pumps treated water into the water supply network for households. Similarly, energy generated by the floating solar PV system at Lower Seletar Reservoir would go to the Lower Seletar Pump Station adjacent to the reservoir to pump raw water to Lower Seletar Waterworks for treatment, and for the transfer of raw water between reservoirs for operational purposes.

At present, PUB has installed solar panels on the rooftops of Choa Chua Kang Waterworks, WaterHub, Marina Barrage, as well as the surface of Tengeh Reservoir as a testbed project. Other land-based installations where PUB has planned for solar deployment include Changi Water Reclamation Project as well as Tuas Deaslination Project. PUB is also studying the feasibility of floating solar panels deployment at both Tengeh and Upper Peirce Reservoirs.


Reducing carbon footprint

The solar systems at both reservoirs are estimated to reduce PUB’s carbon footprint by around 1.3kt CO₂ per year, equivalent to taking approximately 270 cars off the road annually. Together with the solar PV system located on Bedok Waterwork’s roof, the total carbon footprint will be brought down by at least 1.5kt CO₂.

“PUB is committed to making our operations more and more environmentally sustainable,” Mr Ng Joo Hee, Vhief Executive, PUB, said. “PUB’s many reservoirs possess good solar energy potential. These two floating solar PV systems at Bedok and Lower Seletar reservoirs are small, but significant forays into making the water treatment and process greener and less dependent on fossil fuels. The more renewables PUB can generate and use, the smaller our carbon footprint, and the greater our contribution to Singapore’s climate change mitigation effort.”