Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) signs a new 25-year leasing agreement with Sunseap, the country's largest clean energy provider, on a 2.4 megawatts (MW) photovoltaic (PV) system at the factory. This brings the factory's total solar capacity to 2.8 MW. At its peak, the factory's PV system is expected to power, on average, 10% of its entire operations.
The installation, comprising 10,124 pieces* of Panasonic's proprietary solar panel HIT(TM) with 19.0% module efficiency, marks the largest solar system installation on a single site for the consumer electronics sector in Singapore, covering more than 20,000 square metres of roof area across five factory buildings. PAPRDSG will begin drawing from the 2.4 MW PV system within this year.
* A total of approximately 12,000 solar panels have been installed at PAPRDSG.
Atsunao Terasaki, Managing Director, Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore, said, "As one of Panasonic's Eco Model Factories in Southeast Asia, PAPRDSG's focus has long been to ensure that we adopt green manufacturing practices and work towards environmental sustainability. We recognise that industries are huge consumers of energy. Through our solar leasing collaboration with Sunseap, we not only hope to reduce carbon footprint, but also drive uptake of solar energy in businesses and industries."
With one of the highest module efficiency in the market, Panasonic's solar panel HIT(TM) is able to generate more energy given limited roof space. In addition, unlike conventional solar panels, HIT(TM) can maintain high performance at high temperature, making them ideal for utilisation in tropical climates. The panels are manufactured at Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., located at Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah, Malaysia.
Through the solar leasing model, Sunseap will bear both installation and maintenance costs of the project, and pass on cost savings to PAPRDSG through cheaper electricity rates compared to drawing from the grid. The PV system will contribute to Panasonic's target of reducing 700,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2016 through green manufacturing practices.
Frank Phuan, Sunseap Group Director, highlighted the changing perceptions among companies in Singapore with regards to clean energy as a signal that businesses and industries here are becoming more eco-conscious. He remarked, "The increase in the adoption of solar leasing projects in Singapore indicates the developing mindsets of companies to add value to their business through sustainability practices. We look forward to a meaningful 25-year partnership with Panasonic."
The Eco Model Factory has implemented a series of other environmentally sustainable initiatives in the last six years:
Utilising biofuel to power the factory's steam boiler: Biofuel is obtained by processing oil from discarded waste water drained from households in Singapore
Recycling of approximately 3,000 tonnes of machining chips each year through a compacting process and reusing as raw material in the iron casting process
Recycling of waste core sand from casting process which is then re-processed to be used as a raw material in the construction industry
Implementation of energy efficient LED lighting in factory premises
Utilising Inverter-type air compressors for plant facilities
Organising environmental outreach programme, Environment Champions (School) Industry Module, four times annually to educate primary and secondary school students on green manufacturing and energy management