Sun Electric commemorates its first retail of solar electricity in Singapore

Singapore continues to take small steps towards the development of a domestic PV market. Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), the Jurong Town Corporation and SPRING Singapore joined Sun Electric in commemorating the solar company’s first steps into solar retailing solar electricity, at an event held at the Fullerton Hotel.

Sun Electric developed the 500 kW PV project which is located on three factory roofs in the Jurong and Tuas districts. Sun Electric sells the electricity produced by the rooftop systems to local businesses and households.

Sun Electric informed pv magazine that electricity from the array has been supplied to retail customers since the it was completed in January. The company’s business model is to lease roof space from building owners for a PV system, and then to sell the electricity to the owner or to third parties.

While a significant solar location regarding the financial community, as REC’s primary manufacturing location and because of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, the island nation has yet to fully embrace solar power. The lack of a downstream PV market is due predominately to the non-market structure of Singapore’s electricity supply and the need for virtual net metering programs to facilitate business models such as Sun Electric’s.

Solar has been developed in Singapore under offsite Power Purchase Agreements. Late last year developer Sunseap entered into a deal with Apple to supply 1.1 MWp, or 40 GWh annually, of solar to the company allowing its operations to source 100% of its electricity needs with PV. Sunseap pioneered the provision of electricity generated on third-party roofs offsite in Singapore.

Reuters notes that Singapore sources less than 1% of its power from solar PV while remaining heavily dependent on natural gas imports.

"The EMA will continue its efforts to facilitate the entry of independent electricity retailers," Loh Khum Yean, chairman of EMA told Reuters.

This article was changed on March 15 to reflect that Sun Electric is not the first company to retail solar electricity in Singapore.