Changi Airport: Singapore’s largest solar panel system in progress

Workers install solar panels at Singapore Changi Airport

Work has now commenced at Changi Airport on what will be the largest single-site rooftop solar panel system in Singapore.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) has partnered with Keppel Ltd. (Keppel) to embark on the ambitious solar photovoltaic (PV) project.

This initiative involves designing, building and operating a vast solar PV system across various areas of Changi Airport, marking a big step in Singapore’s renewable energy ecosystem.

Changi Airport’s Solar Endeavor

Scheduled for completion in early 2025, the project aims to install a combined 43 Mega-Watt peak (MWp) solar PV system.

Of this capacity, 38 MWp will be allocated to rooftops, solidifying Changi Airport’s status as home to Singapore’s largest single-site rooftop solar PV system.

Additionally, 5 MWp will be generated from a solar PV system situated within the airport’s airfield – a pioneering move towards harnessing solar potential beyond conventional rooftop spaces.


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Impact and Benefits

The implications of this initiative are far-reaching. Once operational, the rooftop and airfield solar PV systems are expected to generate enough energy to power over 10,000 four-room HDB flats annually.

This significant contribution aligns with CAG’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, with an estimated 20,000 tonnes of emissions set to be mitigated yearly, equivalent to approximately 10% of its 2019 consumption.

Singapore Changi Airport Handles 58.9m Passengers in 2023

Overcoming Challenges: Unique Considerations

Deploying solar PV systems within an airport environment presents distinctive challenges. Rigorous simulations were conducted to ensure compatibility with air traffic control operations and aviation safety standards.

Factors such as glare, glint effects, and potential interference with communications systems demanded meticulous attention during the planning and implementation phases.

Central to the project’s success is the integration of Keppel’s Operations Nerve Centre (ONC), housed within the Keppel Infrastructure@Changi building.

The ONC will facilitate remote monitoring, real-time reporting, and advanced fault detection of solar generation metrics.

Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, the ONC promises optimized energy management, predictive maintenance, and enhanced operational outcomes.

Exterior view of Singapore Changi Airport
Photo Credits: Singapore Changi Airport

Driving Sustainable Innovation

Mr. Koh Ming Sue, CAG’s Executive Vice President, Engineering & Development, underscores the significance of this initiative in Changi Airport‘s sustainability journey.

He emphasizes the airport’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through multifaceted approaches, including energy-efficient upgrades and support for cleaner energy initiatives.

“CAG strives to make Changi a more sustainable aviation hub through reducing carbon footprint from all practical fronts.”

“We have been addressing the airport’s energy demands at its core, which includes upgrading our frontline airport building and systems with best-in-class energy efficient models and expanding our support for the airport community to switch to cleaner energy vehicles.” 

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, Mr. Lim Yong Wei, General Manager of Keppel’s Infrastructure Division, expresses enthusiasm for continued collaboration with CAG.

“When completed, this 43MWp landmark solar project will contribute significantly to making the Changi air hub greener and testament to Keppel’s capabilities and innovation.

“Going forward, we hope to continue working with CAG to explore more decarbonisation and sustainability solutions.”

Beyond the current project, both entities are now potentially poised to explore further decarbonization and sustainability solutions.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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