Sembcorp Industries signs 20-year deal to supply solar power to Facebook in Singapore

Singapore five-dollar note Photo by Leslie Shaffer

Sembcorp Industries said on Tuesday that it signed a 20-year deal to supply Facebook with solar energy to support the tech giant’s recently announced operations in Singapore.

Facebook recently said it would locate a 170,000 square meter data center in Singapore, it noted. For Facebook, that’s an investment of more than US$1 billion to build its first data center in Asia, with the project expected to open in 2022, Reuters reported.

Sembcorp said it would provide renewable energy to Facebook via offsite solar panels totaling 50 MWp in capacity, with the panels installed on close to 900 rooftops between the end of this year and 2020. Singapore is land scarce, it noted. That means a solar array installed on land would likely be prohibitively expensive.

“Our deal with Facebook is an example of how Sembcorp is aligning its business to the future. As our world moves towards renewables and lower-carbon energy, there is an increasing demand for solutions that enable businesses to achieve growth while managing their impact on the environment,” Neil McGregor, president and CEO of Sembcorp Industries, said in the statement filed to SGX before the market open on Tuesday.

Sembcorp has been expanding its renewable energy business and has more than 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power projects across Singapore, China and India, the statement said. It has “ambitious” targets to double the renewables portfolio and reduce its carbon intensity by around 25 percent by 2020, it said.

Sembcorp Industries is also involved in offshore and marine engineering.

Facebook’s head of global energy, Bobby Hollis, said in the statement said the deal was the “first step” toward supporting the Singapore data center and local offices entirely with renewable energy.


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