TYE: Helios Energy
Electricity and water are the two most important resources in Singapore. Almost everything that we do requires these. However, Singapore is too overly-reliant on other neighbouring countries for these resources. Water used to be imported from Malaysia and the coal used in the coal plants to produce electricity is imported from countries like Indonesia. The consequences are dire if these countries we rely on stop supplying us with these resources. We need solutions to solve these problems and become independent and self-sustainable in these resources. The problem with water has already been solved with the introduction of NEWater, but there is still a need for an independent solution for producing electricity.
Coal plants which involves the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity are also not environmentally-friendly and renewable.
With the abundance of intense sunlight in Singapore, an excellent solution would be to use solar panels. However, conventional solar panels are extremely expensive and lots of land would be needed for a solar farm to harness solar energy. More often than not, solar panels also do not reach their optimal potential due to the lack of sunlight that they are receiving.
Our business offers a low concentration concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system. This system can generate electricity in an environmentally-friendly way and, most importantly, cheaply and more efficiently. Furthermore, like conventional solar panels, the energy produced is renewable. It also suits very well for a tropical country like Singapore, where the sunlight is intense, there are no seasonal changes and the sun is at the same position throughout the year. These systems would be implemented on the roof of buildings, something that is greatly underutilised and underrated in an urban jungle like Singapore.
How the product works
How do our CPV systems work? We intend to use a parabolic trough to redirect and concentrate large amounts of sunlight onto a small area of solar cells to generate electricity. By using only very little solar cells as compared to conventional solar panels, it is less expensive to produce. This small amount of solar cells is also used to its optimum. All these components would constitute one system and a few of such systems can be placed on the roof of a building.
Our main target would firstly be government buildings and properties (e.g. public/HDB carparks, HDB flats). The government would be receptive to our idea as it offers a solution to ensure national security and self-sustainability of electricity. We would later expand to large corporations with their own buildings, building owners and institutions. We will offer these groups of people a portion of our profits in turn for using the space on their roofs for our systems.
Key partners that we will need to build our business include scientists and researchers to do precise measurements for the design of the system to maximise sunlight. Even though CPV technology is already used in large scale solar farms, this is the first time that it is going to be produced in such systems and implemented on the roofs of buildings. We also need to work with suppliers of solar cells and other materials necessary in making the system. We will also be working together with the government in this business.
Business Process & Profitability
Our business would partner the government to supply electricity to the main power grid as an alternative source from the coal plants that are currently the only sources of electricity, signing a Power Purchase Agreement. We would implement these CPV systems on the roofs of government buildings to harness sunlight. The electricity produced from these systems would be channelled the main power grid and the government would pay us for that electricity at a lower rate than the electricity produced from coal plants, and even lower than those produced from solar panels as the cost of our systems is significantly lower.
In future, we would expand this to other private and commercial buildings. Similarly, these systems would be installed on the roofs of these buildings, and the electricity procured from the systems would be channelled to the main power grid and we would be paid. We would then offer a small amount of our earnings to the building owners, giving them something in return for the use of their roof space which was previously useless.
The CPV systems will all be owned and maintained by us, and we would collect recurring revenue from the electricity produced by them. The only recurring cost that we have for every unit is the maintenance, and the recurring revenue would be able to sustain our business and turn it into something very profitable in the long run.
Our product is revolutionary as it changes how solar panels work. Instead of spending huge amounts of money to invest in a large solar panel, only a small area of solar cells is necessary for our product, significantly reducing costs. Huge areas of land are also not needed for large areas of solar panels as we would be using the roofs of buildings.
Building owners who allow their roofs to be fitted with our systems have a lot to gain and almost nothing to lose. Most of the time, roofs of buildings are not used and are left empty. We give them an opportunity to earn money with the underutilised space on their roofs.
The main aim of our product is to solve the problem of the lack of an independent solution to procuring electricity. This is a major problem in our national security as electricity is such an important resource. As such, the government would work with us as we offer such a solution. The government would also choose us over other large international energy companies due to the fact that this is a Singapore-based idea from a Singapore-based business. An international company providing another solution to solve the same problem can back out anytime to, perhaps, preserve the interests of their country, whereas it would be less likely for a Singapore-based company to do the same.
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