3M has just launched a 14,000 sq m solar farm at their manufacturing plant in Tuas. The rooftop installation comprises six thousand, six hundred and five solar panels along with fifty five inverters, capable of generating two thousand and four hundred megawatt of electricity per year. This is enough to power five hundred flats of four rooms each as is typically designed as per the regulations of the Housing Board.
3M has said that the new solar farm will be able to generate enough renewable energy to meet a quarter of its global power requirements to support its various operations. As per Amy Khor, the Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources, who delivered the keynote address at the launch event, 3M would be able to reduce more than a thousand tonnes of carbon emission every year by switching to the solar power generated by the farm. Dr. Khor stressed on the importance of such green projects and the commitment of her government to formulate more environment friendly policies in the speech. She highlighted that the government was working towards increasing the solar power generation capacity to meet a substantial part of the national peak energy demand. Presently, the state is on its way to satiate up to a tenth of the nationwide peak energy demand. By 2025, the aim is to satiate as much as a quarter of the total electricity demand with solar power.
3M has also launched a 10,000 sq m headquarters recently in Ang Mo Kio. A customer technical centre has also been developed. 3M has invested over a billion dollars in various facilities across Singapore over the last fifty years, spread over business, manufacturing and research & development. The company has around a thousand and six hundred employees in the city-state. Speaking at the launch of the rooftop solar farm, the managing director of 3M Singapore Yuko Nakahira highlighted the importance of developing solutions for Asia that are not only perceived through the understanding of the western nations. 3M is looking for regional and local partners to develop solutions that cater to the specific needs of the republic and the region.
The solar panels are expected to be installed by the end of 2018 and Sembcorp would be operating them. The project is a part of the initiative of the Housing Development Board to have solar panels in five thousand and five hundred blocks by the end of the decade. Singapore has a long way to go despite steadfast progress in the solar energy sector. The country has the largest floating solar test bed in the world at Tengeh Reservoir. Yet, only two percent of the power supply required by the country is met with solar energy. The journey from two percent to twenty-five percent in a span of seven years seems an uphill battle but it has to be embarked upon if the city-state has to be environment-friendly and a sustainable place in the foreseeable future. The island nation has been identified as the eco-friendliest nation among all Asian countries as per the Environmental Performance Index this year. Solar energy will play a pivotal role in retaining the top spot.
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