REC partners with PacificLight to deliver Singapore solar program


Despite being home to leading solar research body SERIS, a robust financial community and REC’s vertically integrated manufacturing operations, Singapore has been somewhat slow in promoting solar adoption on the island nation. This looks set to change, with the retail arm of Singapore’s utility PLE partnering with REC to deliver what it describes as “hybrid energy solutions” to commercial customers.

The program will see REC deliver grid tied solar systems to commercial customers in Singapore in partnership with PLE, with the utility providing gas generated power to business when the sun is not shining.

The two companies say the partnership will provide, “customizable solutions for Singapore businesses that incorporate the proportions of solar power best suited to each customer’s energy needs, regardless of roof space.” The program aims to reduce customers’ energy costs while decreasing emissions.

“As a Singapore power generation and retailing company, we are committed to energy conservation efforts and we look forward to working with REC to continue encouraging green energy use and energy efficiency in Singapore,” said PLE CEO Yu Tat Ming in announcing the program.

Under the program, commercial customers can elect either to purchase outright or lease the solar arrays. PLE and REC say that the program is in response to the Singaporean government’s “efforts to diversify the nation’s energy mix.” It is compliamentary to Singapore’s SolarNova initiative, which is being run by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

“Companies around the world are embracing solar energy to fulfil their corporate sustainability goals, access a cost competitive energy source and mitigate the fluctuations in fossil fuel prices,” said EDB Executive Director Goh Chee Kiong, in announcing the program. “The business model innovation in this partnership will also strengthen the position of Singapore as Asia’s leading cleantech hub where innovations are developed and commercialized to serve the regional markets.”

The initial project lifetime has been set at two years after which the companies will evaluate and “explore innovative ways to encourage companies to adopt green energy.”

REC shareholders have approved the 100% takeover of the company by the Norwegian company Elkem. Elkem was acquired in 2011 by Bluestar, a Chinese chemical company, which belongs to ChemChina (China state owned chemical company).

REC is currently in the process of getting the required approvals from the Chinese authorities so that the takeover can be formalized and REC can be de-listed from the Oslo stock exchange.

REC recently announced that it is hoping its new ownership structure will allow it to push into the Chinese market.

The final three paragraphs of this article was changed on Thursday March 19 (12:00 midday) to correct a previous statement that Elkem had taken an 80% stake in REC.

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