Solar panels to be installed on 1,290 HDB blocks by 2025, bringing total to 8,400 blocks

This brings the total number of HDB blocks that will be fitted with solar panels to 8,400. Source: ST Photo/Kua Chee Siong

From The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – A total of 1,290 Housing Board (HDB) blocks managed by Bishan-Toa Payoh, Tanjong Pagar and Jurong-Clementi town councils will be installed with solar panels by the third quarter of 2025 in Singapore’s latest push to generate more clean energy.

This brings the total number of HDB blocks that will be fitted with solar panels to 8,400, said HDB on Friday (Feb 25). There are more than 10,000 HDB blocks across Singapore.

Another 99 government sites, including primary and secondary schools, Singapore Polytechnic and the upcoming Khatib Polyclinic, will also get solar panels installed under the latest tender launched on Friday.

It comes under the Government’s SolarNova programme, which compiles solar demand from various agencies to enjoy economies of scale, and is jointly led by HDB and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Under the programme, harnessed solar energy is first used to power common services such as lifts, lights and water pumps in HDB estates during the day. Excess energy will be channelled to the electrical grid.

On average, HDB blocks can achieve net-zero energy consumption in common areas, which means the energy used by the building is roughly equal to the amount of energy it produces.

With Friday’s tender, the seventh launched, HDB said it has committed to a total solar capacity of 380 megawatt-peak (MWp) for the 8,400 HDB blocks, which is equivalent to powering 95,000 four-room HDB flats with solar energy.

HDB said it is on track to meet the target set in 2019 to install a total solar capacity of 540 MWp by 2030, which could potentially generate 648 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of green energy to power the equivalent of 135,000 four-room HDB flats.

It contributes towards the national solar targets of 1.5 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2025, and 2 GWp by 2030 as set out under the Singapore Green Plan.

As part of the tender, vendors are required to install smart electrical sub-meters in HDB blocks to track energy consumption patterns and the performance of common services such as lifts, lights and water pumps in each block.

With this data, the respective town councils will be able to compare energy usage across the various HDB blocks and track the demand and supply for individual blocks in the estate.

The data collected will also help town councils optimise maintenance cycles of the common services, as well as detect anomalies such as equipment faults.

The tender will close on May 20 and is expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of this year. Installation of the solar panels is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2025.

To date, 2,700 out of the 8,400 HDB blocks have been installed with solar panels. Installation at the remaining blocks will be progressively done in batches over the next two to three years.

HDB chief executive Tan Meng Dui said: “Our journey in building up our solar capabilities started 14 years ago on a small scale. Today, there are over 10,000 HDB blocks in Singapore and we strive to install solar panels on as many HDB blocks as possible.

“We will continue to leverage new technologies and smart solutions to support the national goal of achieving a green and sustainable Singapore.”

Author: Michelle Ng