Environmental impact of the deployment of the solar farm in the Bas Seletar reservoir to be carried out
SINGAPORE – A detailed study of the environmental impacts of building a floating solar farm in the Lower Seletar Reservoir – which could be Singapore’s largest reservoir – will soon be conducted.
National water agency PUB told the Straits Times that the reservoir has been identified by the National Parks Board as a key corridor to facilitate animal movement between key habitats in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Simpang -Khatib Bongsu and Coney Island.
PUB is therefore committed to carrying out detailed environmental studies and impact assessment, to ensure that any deployment of solar panels is done in an environmentally friendly manner, its spokesperson said.
To help Singapore meet its growing clean energy needs, the agency previously identified the Lower Seletar Reservoir as a potential site for a large-scale 100 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar farm and the Pandan Reservoir for a 44 MWp.
Feasibility studies are currently planned to determine the viability of installing solar panels in the two reservoirs, as the Republic aims to install at least 2 GWp of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2030.
Singapore’s first large-scale floating solar farm was deployed at Tengeh Reservoir in July last year, with a capacity of 60 MWp.
PUB said the proposed installation of solar panels in the Lower Seletar Reservoir would take up about a third of the reservoir’s surface area, with detailed studies needed to determine the exact coverage and layout of the panels.
Its spokesperson added that at the Tengeh reservoir, an environmental impact study and an environmental monitoring and management plan have been carried out to minimize the impact of the installation of the solar panels during the phases of construction and post-construction.
Findings and observations revealed that there were no observable changes in the water quality of the reservoir, the PUB said.
The solar photovoltaic system has also been designed to allow enough sunlight and air to enter the water, thereby supporting aquatic life and minimizing any impact on reservoir water quality. -he adds.
Aerators have also been deployed to maintain the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, with strict requirements on the selection of materials for the various system components. These plans will also be studied and carefully considered before deployment in other reservoirs.
“We saw gray herons, white-bellied eagles, bald eagles around the floating solar panel installation, with camera traps capturing otters on the solar panel system,” the spokesperson said. from the pub.
Nature lovers, however, fear that birds in the forested areas surrounding the Lower Seletar Reservoir will suffer a loss of feeding grounds if the floating solar panels are deployed.
Dr Shawn Lum, President of the Nature Society (Singapore), said the reservoir is bordered by secondary forests containing many albizias, which are tall, fast growing and serve as important habitat for large birds such as the white-bellied sea eagle and the locally endangered grey-headed fish eagle.
These eagles depend on areas where fish are plentiful, such as in catchment reservoirs. Other birds such as terns may also feed on fish, while swallows and bats may skim the surface of the water looking for insects.