Keppel, Ocean Sun to pilot membrane-based floating PV project in Singapore

A floating solar test system installed by Ocean Sun off the coast of Norway. Image: Ocean Sun.

Keppel Energy Nexus has landed a contract to pilot a membrane-based nearshore floating solar PV (FPV) system at Jurong Island, Singapore using FPV company Ocean Sun’s technology.

The membrane-based FPV system employs Ocean Sun’s technology to develop a FPV system in stronger waves and rougher sea conditions in a nearshore marine environment, as opposed to  the more common FPV systems located on calmer water bodies such as reservoirs.

The 1.5MW pilot project will consists of three circular platforms deployed in the seawater surrounding Jurong island and is expected to be ready in Q4 2023.

The circular reinforced membranes for the PV panels ensure the lowest material usage of any floating PV system, enabling a lower levelised cost of energy (LCOE) as well as resource conservation, Keppel said, adding that the system is easy to deploy and install and features increased efficiency from direct water cooling.

The company said it will serve as a model for future scaling and replication in nearshore waterbodies in Singapore as well as overseas.  

“With the limited space Singapore has for solar panel deployment, the robust and innovative system can be easily scaled up and significantly increase the supply of floating solar power in Singapore to beyond just the deployment in reservoirs,” said Janice Bong, executive director of Power and Renewables at Keppel Infrastructure.

Wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure, itself a subsidiary of conglomerate Keppel Corporation, Keppel Energy Nexus was awarded a grant by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) and JTC to develop the project.

The award is part of EMA and JTC’s Jurong Island Renewable Energy Request for Proposals to accelerate the deployment on clean energy technologies on the island. Projects will be funded by a S$6 million (US$4.3 million) joint commitment by EMA and JTC, with support from Enterprise Singapore.

With an electricity mix currently dominated by fossil fuels and limited land availability for ground-mounted projects, Singapore is turning to FPV to increase its renewables capacity as it aims for 2GW of deployed solar by 2030.

PV Tech Premium has taken a closer look at how customised install techniques have helped the city state’s largest FPV to date as well as exploring the challenges and experiences of FPV systems in other regions.

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