Facebook to Buy 100 MW of Solar Energy from Sunseap to Power Operations in Singapore
Facebook will receive renewable energy generated by 1,200 rooftop solar systems
October 5, 2020
Sunseap Group, a Singapore-based solar energy company, announced that it signed a virtual power purchase agreement with Facebook to supply around 100 MW of solar energy from over 1,200 rooftop installations across Singapore. The generated renewable energy will be utilized to support Facebook’s operations in Singapore, including its first custom-built data center in Asia.
A virtual power purchase agreement is a contract in which the power purchaser agrees to buy a project’s renewable energy at a pre-agreed price. The energy can be generated from a renewable energy project that is located away from a company’s premises but co-located on the same grid.
In this case, Facebook will receive renewable energy credits from the electricity generated by rooftop systems installed on 1,200 public housing residential blocks and 49 government buildings across Singapore. The company stated that the project is expected to be completed in 2022.
“We believe VPPA is the way to go for enterprises as they accelerate efforts to add renewables to their energy mix. This is a game-changer in Asia’s drive to decarbonize and fight climate change. Furthermore, companies that are constrained by a lack of space to install solar panels or those that require geographic flexibility will find a virtual contract suitable for their needs,” said Lawrence Wu, President and Executive Director of Sunseap Group.
The new agreement will help Facebook achieve its objective to support its operations in the region with 100% renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.
Facebook has already reduced 59% of operational greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 compared to 2017 levels, according to its recently released sustainability report. The company has set a science-based objective to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by the end of 2020, compared to its base year of 2017.
Facebook has so far contracted over 5.4 GW of renewable energy to support its global operations, according to its press statement.
“This project will be an important part of successfully reaching our targets in the region, including supporting our data center operations with renewable energy,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook.
According to Sunseap Group, it has installed, contracted, and developed renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1.7 GW across the Asia Pacific region. The company also has a pipeline of projects in China, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Earlier this year, Sunseap Group raised 100 million in Singapore dollars (~$71.79 million) in its fourth round of fund-raising from Banpu, a publicly listed company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The funds were to be used to support the company’s projects and expansion across Asia.
Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.