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HDB to lead combined tender for solar panels

The Housing & Development Board, the largest installer of such green energy technology in Singpaore, will aggregate demand across Government agencies.

SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said an aggregated tender of solar panels across Government agencies in Singapore will be called next year.

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) - as the largest user of solar panels in Singapore - will take the lead in helping other government agencies harness solar energy, and accelerating the deployment of the technology, he wrote in a blogpost on Thursday (Aug 28).

"These agencies ride on HDB’s bulk tenders for solar panels, and enjoy lower costs due to economies of scale. This way, we help to expand the use of solar panels beyond HDB blocks," he added.

Among the interested parties, the Ministry of Defence has expressed interest in installing solar panels on the rooftops of their camps, while the Education Ministry is also looking to do the same in schools.

The HDB will itself nearly double the number of blocks with solar panels installed next year, he said. The figure currently stands at 176, but will increase to 300 in 2015. And by 2020, that figure will hit around 5,500. This will see the total power output generated by HDB's panels increase more than 13-fold, from 16MWp (mega watt-peak) today to 220MWp in 2020.

Such panels are used to to power common services such as lifts and corridor lighting. "It is clean energy and helps Town Councils offset rising energy costs," he said.

"Overall, Singapore plans to raise the adoption of solar energy to 350MWp by 2020. HDB’s contribution will amount to 220MWp, involving solar PV panels at about 5,500 HDB blocks. This could generate enough electricity to provide for common services and households in a town the size of Woodlands!"