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Sunseap to supply Facebook with solar energy for Singapore operations

SINGAPORE-BASED solar energy firm Sunseap Group on Monday said it will supply Facebook with renewable energy to support its Singapore operations, including the tech giant's custom-built data centre here.

The transaction will help Facebook reach its goal of supporting its operations in the region with 100 per cent renewable energy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent.

The transaction is a first-of-its-kind virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) between Sunseap and Facebook, and the largest in Singapore in terms of solar capacity under a VPPA, Sunseap said in a statement.

It said a VPPA is a contract structure in which a power buyer agrees to purchase a project's renewable energy for a pre-agreed price. The energy can be produced from a renewable energy project located away from a company's premises, but co-located on the same grid.

Under the VPPA, Facebook will receive renewable energy credits from electricity produced from solar panels. This electricity will be exported from Sunseap's solar projects, which are located on the rooftops of 1,200 public housing residential blocks and 49 government buildings across Singapore.

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Sunseap said these solar projects are expected to produce a total of 100 megawatt-peak of solar capacity when fully completed in 2022.

Sunseap Group president and executive director Lawrence Wu said the firm was excited to partner Facebook to introduce VPPAs to Singapore and the rest of the region.

He said companies that are constrained by a lack of space to install solar panels or which require geographic flexibility will find a virtual contract suitable for their needs.

"We believe VPPA is the way to go for enterprises as they accelerate efforts to add renewables to their energy mix," he added.

Facebook head of renewable energy Urvi Parekh said the project will be "an important part of successfully reaching our targets in the region, including supporting our data centre operations with renewable energy".

Last month, Sembcorp Industries signed a multi-year renewable energy deal with Google to provide the tech giant with a total energy solution, focusing on locally-sourced renewable power, to support Google Singapore's operations.

The deal is part of Google's goal for its data centres to run entirely on carbon-free electricity by 2030, the tech firm had said.

Under a private collaboration with Sembcorp's power retail arm, Sembcorp Power, and its solar development arm, Sembcorp Solar, excess solar power generated from the rooftop solar installations of close to 500 public housing blocks will first be exported into the national grid, then go into the electricity supply of Google operations.

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