SMRT’s Bishan depot to be powered by solar energy

SMRT Trains Ltd, Singapore’s largest rail operator, announced today a partnership with Sunseap Leasing Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading clean energy provider, which will allow SMRT’s Bishan Depot to run on renewable solar energy by the end of this year.

The deal at Bishan Depot, Singapore’s first and largest rail depot, will see a pilot one MegaWatt-peak (MWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed within the depot’s premise, a system capable of meeting the depot’s operational energy needs.

Covering an initial area of about 10,000 square metres, the solar PV system will be installed on the rooftop of Bishan Depot’s Main Depot building.

Installation of the PV system will commence in the third quarter of this year and is expected to be operational at the end of October 2016. It will allow SMRT to reduce its carbon footprint by 553 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Under optimal conditions, the system can generate electricity equal to the annual energy consumption of about 270 four-room HDB flats. The system in Bishan Depot may be extended to provide up to 5 MWp upon the successful completion of the pilot trial.

Mr Ng Bor Kiat, SMRT Senior Vice President for Systems and Technology, said, “The installation of a solar photovoltaic system at Bishan Depot is SMRT’s first application of solar technology in our facilities. It will allow us to diversify our energy sources and reduce the carbon footprint from our expanding trains operations. We are optimistic about expanding the system to generate up to 5 MWp, maximising solar potential at Bishan Depot.”

Mr Frank Phuan, Director of Sunseap, said: “We at Sunseap are happy to have SMRT Trains come onboard as a valued client. It is great to see SMRT take a leading role in sustainability practices. The initiative by SMRT is an important step contributing towards positive environmental impact. We believe this move will encourage the other transport companies in Singapore to step up their sustainability efforts, especially with the Singapore Exchange’s sustainability mandate coming into effect in fiscal year 2017.”

SMRT will be looking into the potential of utilising the rest of the available roof space at Bishan Depot for further expansion of the solar PV system to generate up to 5 MWp. Feasibility studies will also be conducted to determine how solar panels can be implemented in other facilities, such as above ground MRT stations.

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