Consuming Less to Save More


PARK's rooftop is made up of solar panels which supply up to 15 per cent of the cafe's energy needs. Photo credit: Sunseap Leasing

April 1, 2014

Set in Holland Village Park, PARK is an eco-friendly bistro like no other — its aluminium walls and metal beams are made from used shipping containers, while its lights, refrigerators and air-conditioning are powered by solar energy.

But what truly sets PARK apart from other bistros are the solar PV panels on its roof — the bistro uses building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology, in which the solar panels make up part of the building structure.

Contrary to popular belief, solar PV need not be an expensive investment. In the case of PARK, its green-minded owner and Mediacorp actor Adam Chen entered into a leasing arrangement for the panels. The leasing company manages the solar PV system while PARK buys the power generated by the solar panels from the leasing company at a price lower than electricity purchased from the national grid. By installing the panels as part of its roof, PARK also saved on the cost of roofing materials. "BIPV leasing allows us to achieve an aesthetically unique building to fulfil our green and sustainable objectives — at almost no additional cost to us," said Chen in a Straits Times interview.

PARK could enjoy up to $4,000 in savings a year, with the solar energy system supplying up to 42 kilowatt hour (kWh) daily or 15 per cent of the café's energy needs. That's enough to power two condominium apartments daily!

Article published by: Climate Challenge