Sunseap installs one of world’s largest offshore floating solar farms in Singapore

Singapore-based solar energy developer Sunseap Group has completed the installation of a 5MW-peak floating solar farm, said to be one of the largest offshore solar developments in the world, in the Straits of Johor in Singapore.

Sunseap's offshore floating solar farm at Woodlands (Courtesy of Sunseap)
Photo of Sunseap's offshore floating solar farm at Woodlands (Courtesy of Sunseap)
Sunseap’s offshore floating solar farm at Woodlands (Courtesy of Sunseap)

The successful installation of the 5MW-peak offshore floating photovoltaic (OFPV) system is hoped to lead to more OFPV projects in the region as land-scarce countries tap offshore solar as part of their renewables strategy, according to Sunseap.

Sunseap said the floating solar farm at Woodlands, a planning area and residential town located in the North Region of Singapore, took close to a year to set up amid movement restrictions during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The project involved the installation of 13,312 panels, 40 inverters and more than 30,000 floats. According to Sunseap, the installation is expected to produce an estimated 6,022,500 kilo-watt hours (kWh) of energy per year, potentially offsetting approximately 4,258 tons of carbon dioxide, bringing Singapore closer to decarbonisation.

The solar farm is equipped with electrical panels, control system and a 22kV transformer. It is also a landing point for the subsea cable that transmits the generated power to the national grid.

The floating PV system is designed with a robust constant tension mooring system that is able to withstand changing weather conditions, keeping the platform and all of the operational equipment on board steady, Sunseap said.

Frank Phuan, Co-Founder and CEO of Sunseap Group, said: “We are very pleased to announce the successful completion of Singapore and Sunseap’s first offshore floating photovoltaic system.

“This is an important milestone for Sunseap as we believe that offshore space like the sea, reservoirs, lakes etc., offers exciting opportunities for land-scarce and densely populated cities to tap solar energy. They are places that are unobscured from the sun and with low risks of vandalism or theft.

“We believe that we at Sunseap have honed our experience and expertise in offshore floating PV systems from the completion of this project and are well placed to help our clients access this new frontier for solar energy“.

Sunseap said the Woodlands project was more challenging compared to other land-based or rooftop installations due to the unpredictable nature of open sea, the need to avoid shipping routes and the presence of barnacles. Marine expertise was also required for mooring installation and system design.

Sunseap Group has over 400 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) of solar energy projects contracted, of which more than 168 MWp have been completed on more than 1,500 buildings in Singapore including public housing estates, as well as commercial and industrial buildings.