July 14 (UPI) -- Singapore launched a 45-hectare solar farm that is expected to supply at least five local water treatment plants in the country and reduce carbon emissions in line with the country's Green Plan.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Wednesday at the opening ceremony that the 60-megawatt Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm was a critical step forward for Singapore in environmentally sustainable water treatment, Channel News Asia reported.
"Innovations such as floating solar farms will help us overcome our physical constraints," Lee said.
"I hope this project will give our solar and renewable energy industry a boost, and pave the way for more such facilities to be built here and in the region ... as we transition into a low-carbon world."
Singapore has expanded its solar capacity seven-fold since 2015, according to the Straits Times Wednesday.
The 155,000 solar panels of the Tengeh Reservoir is the equivalent of 45 soccer fields in size, the report said.
Sembcorp Industries, a local engineering and construction company, built the solar farm with Singapore's national water agency, PUB.
The company and government agency said in statement that the solar farm would make Singapore "one of the few countries in the world to have a 100% green waterworks system."
Sembcorp and PUB also said the amount of electricity generated from the project would be enough to offset about 7% of PUB's annual energy needs.
The Tengeh solar farm would reduce carbon emissions by about 32 kilotons annually -- equivalent to equal to taking off the road about 7,000 cars off roads, according to Channel News Asia.
The prime minister said Singapore was taking advantage of "year-round bright sunlight."
"As the cost of solar cells came down, solar power became increasingly viable and attractive to us, so we made use of whatever available space we could find to install solar panels," Lee said. "We put them on building rooftops, we put them on vacant state properties."