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Sembcorp and Singapore Polytechnic Jointly Launch Initiatives in Research and Training to Advance Sustainability in Solar Photovoltaics

November 01, 2022

Set up first solar photovoltaic (PV) research lab in polytechnic as testbed to explore applications of PV technologies
Co-developed certified curriculum on solar energy competency to build workforce capabilities for a sustainable energy transition

Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) marked the opening of the SP-Sembcorp Solar PV Research Lab and Singapore’s first end-to-end solar PV pilot demonstration recycling line. The launch was officiated by Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr Amy Khor, at SP’s Regional Industry Networking Conference (RINC) held at the SP Convention Centre.

As the leading solar player in Singapore, Sembcorp has been collaborating with Institutes of Higher Learning such as SP to train solar professionals. Bearing testimony to this, Sembcorp Solar Singapore was recently conferred the Singapore Energy Award 2022 by the Energy Market Authority for playing a core role in driving capability development in Singapore’s solar industry.

First solar PV research lab in local polytechnic

Sembcorp and SP have set up the SP-Sembcorp Solar PV Research Lab within the SP campus to conduct proof of concept projects in solar PV, test monitoring systems with live generation data and validate new technologies in actual deployment environments. Plans are also underway to develop various mock ups of rooftop solar structures for hands-on training for both SP students and adult learners in the Continuing Education and Training (CET) programmes.

Joint development of solar course curriculum

To upskill the talent pool, Sembcorp and SP have launched a course in solar PV systems planning, design, and installation. The course comprises 24 hours of online lessons, assessments and practical hands-on sessions in site surveys and installations which will be carried out at the SP-Sembcorp Solar PV Research Lab. Eligible solar professionals including project managers, engineers and technicians, can register for the CET course at SP’s website and use their SkillsFuture credits to enjoy course fee subsidies.

Sustainable end-of-life management of solar PV panels

Singapore’s solar capacity has grown to more than 670MWp and over 5,400 installations in the first quarter of 20221. As Southeast Asia ramps up solar energy deployment, opportunities for a responsible end-of-life solution will support a circular economy for solar PV materials. In 2019, Sembcorp and SP collaborated to develop a pilot solar panel recycling plant, which has since progressed to a stage to demonstrate the commercial viability forlarge-scale recycling of used solar panels.

Mr Koh Chiap Khiong, CEO of Singapore & Southeast Asia, Sembcorp Industries, said: “Through our collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic, Sembcorp is enabling the energy transition for a sustainable future. The SP-Sembcorp Solar PV Research Lab not only presents an opportunity as a testbed for new photovoltaic applications, but also offers students and adult learners practical hands-on training so they can be equipped with the relevant skillsets to support Singapore’s climate ambitions.”

Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal and CEO of Singapore Polytechnic, said: “With the commissioning of the Solar PV Pilot Demonstration Recycling Line, we can bring our environmentally sustainable recovery technology closer to commercialisation in collaboration with Sembcorp. SP looks forward to expanding our expertise in solar PV research, and training more solar PV professionals to contribute towards Singapore’s latest commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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1. Energy Market Authority: Installed capacity of grid-connected solar PV systems for the first quarter of 2022