Sentosa begins massive solar panel deployment as part of green strategy

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) are embarking on a large-scale deployment of photovoltaic cells to harness solar energy across 18 sites on the island from June 2022.

This deployment marks the first major renewable energy milestone under the refreshed Sustainable Sentosa strategic roadmap launched in September 2021.

SDC has launched a tender for the installation, marking the first time that rooftops with varying tenures – duration that each rooftop is available for photovoltaic cell installations – are being consolidated into a single tender in Singapore. Comprising seven sites at locations such as Palawan Kidz City, Beach Station, as well as the three Sentosa Line cable car stations, the consolidation will strengthen the tender’s commercial viability, with more spaces activated for solar energy generation. These were selected based on the availability of sufficient sunlight and an unobstructed guest experience.

Solar panels at the 18 new sites can reduce 1,643 tCO2 per year, equivalent to carbon generated by 60,000 hotel room nights

Separately, RWS will begin the installation of new photovoltaic cells this month at 11 sites on its premises including Universal Studios Singapore and Hard Rock Hotel Singapore’s rooftops. RWS already hosts one of the largest solar photovoltaic systems in Singapore’s hospitality sector, and the new installation is part of its Sustainability Master Plan and decarbonisation strategy.

Collectively, the solar panels at the 18 new sites will cover about 2.5 hectares, with a solar capacity of 3.094 megawatt-peak (MWp) that can produce 3,871,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy annually when fully installed by 2023. This will result in an overall reduction of 1,643 tCO2 per year, which is equivalent to the carbon generated by 60,000 hotel room nights.

As part of the Sustainable Sentosa strategic roadmap, SDC is also studying other sources of renewable energy, including tidal energy and waste-to-energy generators as part of long-term strategies to achieve carbon neutrality. Small-scale pilots are currently being explored with the view to scaling these solutions for mass deployment should the trials prove successful. Overall, Sentosa targets to power 10 per cent of the island’s electricity usage through onsite renewable energy by 2030.

Thien Kwee Eng, chief executive officer, SDC, said: “Solar is one of the most viable renewable sources of energy for Sentosa and Singapore. However, one challenge is how precincts can optimise underutilised spaces to harness the potential of solar energy. The deployment of photovoltaic cells across Sentosa’s establishments through a consolidated approach, comprising different rooftops with varying sizes and tenures, is an illustration of how we can collaborate as a business ecosystem to tap on such opportunities. Using this approach, the initiative will take us one step further towards being a sustainable leisure destination with a lower carbon footprint.”

Tan Hee Teck, chief executive officer, RWS, said: “Transitioning to renewable energy is an important means to combat climate change and forms an integral part of RWS’s decarbonisation strategy. Our aim is to accelerate our transition to next generation renewable energy which includes solar, wind, tidal and kinetic energy through applied research and test-bedding at RWS, which will then be adapted for scalability across a variety of environments within our resort. This will all culminate towards RWS’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.”

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