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Facebook signs maiden floating solar deal

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The 5MWp project is floated on the Straits of Johor. Image: Sunseap.

Facebook has signed a multi-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Sunseap to procure power from a floating solar project in Singapore, its first deal for power from a floating solar install.

Under the terms of the deal, Facebook will receive all power generated by the 5MWp install in the Straits of Johor, while all renewable energy credits from the project will also be transferred to the social media giant. Power from the project will be used to support Facebook’s operations in the city-state.

The project was completed last month. It is made up of more than 13,300 solar modules and 40 inverters, floated on the strait using in excess of 30,000 floating structures. At the time of writing, Sunseap had yet to clarify which manufacturers had been selected for the project.

It’s the second such agreement signed between Sunseap and Facebook, having penned a similar agreement in October last year for power generated by 1,200 rooftop solar installs.

Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Facebook, said it was the social media company’s first floating solar project, which made it “particularly excited” to support the technology.

Alongside other, larger solar markets in the ASEAN region, most notably Vietnam, Singapore has emerged as a particular destination of solar finance in recent months. Last month Amazon revealed it would be the offtaker for 62MW of ‘moveable’ solar projects in Singapore, also under development by Sunseap, while the solar developer is also part of a joint venture with Malaysian utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad which intends to export renewable power from Malaysia to Singapore.

As the solar industry has matured and sustainable investment has moved up on the global market’s list of priorities, power purchase agreements (PPAs) have become a mutually beneficial arrangement between developers and the corporate world. But SMEs have remained difficult to cater for in comparison to larger, more bankable offtakers or utilities with permanent facilities. Edith Hancock explores how this might be changing.

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Scatec has unveiled a NOK 100 billion (US$11.7 billion) plan that will see the company expand its renewables portfolio to 15GW over the next four years.

Malaysia’s installed solar capacity is expected to increase fourfold by 2030, driven by a successful tender policy and improved financing incentives, according to a new report from Fitch Solutions.

Indian PV developer Adani Green Energy has raised a US$1.35 billion debt package to initially support the construction of a 1.69GW hybrid portfolio of solar and wind projects in the state of Rajasthan.

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