Singapore's First Aesthetic Solar Leasing Project
July 2, 2014
P@rk cafeteria located in Holland Village Park has completed a deal with Sunseap Leasing to hook up its ceiling with a Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) system in which the conventional building materials are replaced by solar panels. This project has proven that clean and renewable yet affordable energy sources can be incorporated into building design.
Different from previous solar-leasing projects, the one at P@rkcafeteria is the first and only BIPV solar leasing project in Singapore. The 12kWp solar system, which consists of 72 pieces of solar modules and will generate 15MWh of power annually, are provided by Sunseap Leasing with a 20-year leasing agreement. This system has started powering the common facilities in the cafeteria, including lighting, refrigeration and air-conditioning, from 1st July 2013. In this agreement, Sunseap Leasing will manage the designing, financing, maintaining and operating the solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
"I believe this BIPV leasing allows us to achieve an aesthetically unique building to fulfill our green and sustainable objectives – at almost no additional cost to us" said Mr Adam Chen, the cafeteria owner. "We will thus be not only spared the cost of solar system installation, but also instead of buying power from the national grid, we will do so from Sunseap Leasing at a competitive price lower than our current electricity tariffs."
Different from previous solar-leasing projects, the one at P@rkcafeteria is the first and only BIPV solar leasing project in Singapore. BIPV stands for building-integrated photovoltaic, where the solar panels are incorporated into the design of the building as a replacement for conventional building materials.
BIPV is the solution to future solar energy in Singapore.
Extensive land-based solar energy plants are not possible due to Singapore's small land area. Thus, the only way to harness solar energy here is to install solar PV panels on buildings as they provide the largest surfaces available. However, this raises the problem of how to achieve maximum solar panel installation area.
One solution to this problem is Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV). It's the fastest growing segments of the solar panel industry; BIPV is now being used to replace conventional building materials. In the Holland Village project, solar panels are used to replace the roof materials.
An advantage of BIPV over non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labour that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace.
Another reason of using BIPV is that it can be easily incorporated into the building that does not require any structural overhaul, which is not only reduces the weight of roof, it's also more aesthetically pleasing than conventional solar panel mounting.
Sunseap Leasing' first BIPV solar leasing is a innovative project that delivers a "green energy solution" with good design and aesthetic appeal at its core. The incorporation of BIPV delivers a high level of energy efficiency as well as meeting the changing needs of the market.
"The success of this project could pave the way for more commercial solar projects across Singapore and prove that solar leasing projects are not limited to rack-mounting PV systems, which will makes this project a milestone in Singapore's solar leasing industry. " said Mr Frank Phuan, director of Sunseap Leasing, reflecting the company's intention to open up a new market segment especially to new buildings with glass façade or roof.
Building solar capability in the form of solar PV technology is key to sustainable development, and it will provide an alternative renewable energy source for Singapore. The BIPV solar leasing model is the latest enhancement to current market's demand for solar energy, and a continuation of Sunseap Leasing's ongoing efforts to promote sustainable solar energy development.