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Waterworks to implement solar

The Choa Chu Kang Waterworks (CCKWW) is the first water treatment plant here to tap on solar power for its energy needs.

A total of 3,333 pieces of solar panels were installed at Choa Chu Kang Waterworks, and these can harness enough energy to meet about 7 per cent of the plant’s daily energy needs for areas such as lighting and air conditioning, it was revealed during a media briefing on Thursday (Jun 25).

The panels are also expected to generate 1.1 gigawatt hours (GWh) every year – the equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 247 Housing and Development Board households. They work by converting sunlight into a renewable energy source, which can be used to power the plant.

It took about a year to complete the construction, which wrapped up in May, 2015. This is part of the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) push towards using more clean and renewable energy, and the agency picked this site to be the pilot project because it is one of the largest waterworks in Singapore, with the capacity to meet up to 20 per cent of the country’s water demand.

“It’s fed into the same electricity network as the grid energy. What happens is that when the solar panels are producing electricity, this electricity will be consumed first, then the balance will then be produced by the grid energy,” said Mr Tan Nguan Sen, Chief Sustainability Officer at PUB.

Environment and Water Resources Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said using solar power wherever possible is important for Singapore, despite its compact size.

He said: “The key bottleneck for energy for solar energy in Singapore is land. We don’t have enough land. And therefore solar energy can never replace our ultimate dependence on fossil fuels. But to the maximum extent possible, solar energy is green, solar energy is renewable and right now, solar energy is competitive.”

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