Photo: Illustration/Ocean Sun’s floating solar technology (Courtesy of Ocean Sun)

Ocean Sun and Keppel team up for nearshore floating solar project in Singapore

Keppel Infrastructure has secured a grant from the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and JTC to pilot the first membrane-based nearshore floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system in Singapore.

Keppel signed a Technology License Agreement with Ocean Sun for the 1.5MWp floating PV project to be deployed near Jurong Island.

Compared to the conventional floating PV systems used in Singapore in calmer water bodies, the membrane-based PV system is designed based on Ocean Sun’s technology to harness solar energy reliably amid stronger waves and rougher sea conditions in a nearshore marine environment, Keppel said.

This is achieved by attaching solar panels directly onto large circular reinforced membranes protected by a high-density polyethylene pipe structure surrounding the membrane, which creates a stable and safe platform.

The pilot PV system consists of three circular platforms, which will have an installed capacity of 1.5MWp when deployed in the seawater surrounding Jurong island.

According to the company, the circular reinforced membranes for the panels ensure the lowest material usage of any floating PV system, enabling a lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) as well as resource conservation.

The project is expected to be ready in 4Q 2023. It will serve as a model for future scaling and replication in nearshore water bodies in Singapore and overseas.

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“We are pleased that the innovative floating solar PV system has been selected to help catalyse the deployment of renewable energy using unutilised sea space around Jurong Island,” said Janice Bong, executive director, Power & Renewables, Keppel Infrastructure.

“With the limited space Singapore has for solar panel deployment, the robust and innovative system can be easily scaled up and significantly increase the supply of floating solar power in Singapore to beyond just the deployment in reservoirs.”

The award is part of EMA and JTC’s Jurong Island Renewable Energy Request for Proposals (RfP) to accelerate the development of clean energy innovations for implementation on the island.

Projects will be funded by a S$6 million joint commitment by EMA and JTC, with support from Enterprise Singapore.