Singapore: HDB launches 2 MW solar leasing scheme

According to Singapore’s Straits Times, HDB launched a tender, which closed this month, in order to find a company that would own and operate solar panels in the ecotown of Punggol. Meanwhile, it has said that it will buy the electricity produced for 20 years. It is, however, unknown which company was successful.

This strategy is in opposition to its last solar project, continued the news report, where HDB bought the solar panels, and hired contractors to install and maintain them. HDB did not explain why it is trying out this model, but industry players offered a few reasons. "This is more experimental. The HDB is testing the mechanism," Christophe Inglin, managing director of Germany-based Phoenix Solar told the Straits Times.

He continued by saying that leasing can be attractive, because users may not want to deal with buying and maintaining the panels in the same way a tenant of a house may not need to fret over furniture.

The report explained that solar panels will be installed on 85 housing blocks. The generated electricity – expected to be around two megawatts when the sun is fully out – will be used towards powering, among other things, lights in common areas, and lifts and pumps.

The tender is part of HDB’s $31 million, five-year scheme to test-bed solar energy in 30 precincts.

There are also solar testing program in Tampines, Bukit Panjang, Marine Parade, Serangoon North and Wellington Circle.