The market for solar energy is heating up worldwide, with more and more countries joining the Race to Zero, “a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery.” This is a concerted, global effort to fight against climate change.
In this effort, Singapore’s Sunseap Group plans to spend around US$2 billion to build the world’s largest offshore floating solar farm and energy storage system (ESS) in the Indonesian city of Batam, which will double its renewable power generation capacity. The plans for the floating photovoltaic system (FPV) were revealed after a memorandum of understanding was signed by Sunseap and Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam) earlier this week.
The offshore solar farm is expected to have a capacity of 2.2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) and will be located on Duriangkang Reservoir in the south of Batam Island, spanning around 1,600 hectares (6 square miles). This makes it the world’s largest offshore floating Photovoltaic system to date. The energy storage system is also slated to be the largest ESS with a storage capacity of larger than 4000 MWhr.
“This hyper-scale project is a significant milestone for Sunseap coming soon after we had completed Singapore’s first offshore floating solar farm along the Straits of Johor,” said Frank Phuan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sunseap. “We believe that floating solar systems will go a long way to address the land constraints that urbanized parts of Southeast Asia face in tapping renewable energy.”
Sunseap Group recently also revealed it was installing offshore floating solar panels off the coast of Singapore to help it meet its climate goals. In March, it completed a 5 MWp floating photovoltaic system offshore Singapore along the Straits of Johor. Earlier this month, another Singaporean company, Sembcorp, opened a 122,000-panel floating solar farm on Tengeh Reservoir in Singapore.
Duriangkang Reservoir supports more than 50% of the freshwater supply to Batam Island. The floating solar panels will be beneficial to reducing the evaporation, thereby retaining more water within the reservoir. Simultaneously, the water will also keep the solar panel cool allowing the panel to generate more clean energy, creating a synergistic relationship.
In addition, Sunseap Group targets this solar farm to produce more than 2,600 GWh of electricity per year. The electricity generated has the potential to offset more than 1.8 million metric tons of carbon per year – equivalent to taking more than 400,000 cars off the road each year.
Construction is slated to begin in 2022 and plans to be completed in 2024.