People power will soon be felt in the electricity supply

Local | Amy Nip 29 Aug 2018

Hong Kong Electric has received a powerful response in the form of people applying to join a generating scheme being launched in January whereby they are paid from HK$3 to HK$5 per unit of electricity they provide from their own power-producing devices for the general supply.

Ocean Park in Aberdeen will be among the first in the scheme with a solar power system on the roof of its Polar Adventure attraction.

The government announced the feed-in tariff framework in April, and since then the electricity company has received more than 100 expressions of interest for installing renewable energy devices, including solar photovoltaic or wind power systems.

A team has been set up to provide professional advice and technical support to people interested in the scheme. Applications forms can go in by mail or online, and installation can start once approval has been given by Hong Kong Electric. The company will install a smart meter and connect a system to the grid if everything goes right during an on-site check.

The power company will buy all the units of electricity produced at the rate of HK$3 to HK$5 per unit. The rate varies according to the capacity of the power system.

Ocean Park plans to install more than 600 monocrystalline silicon solar panels atop the Polar Adventure setup. They will have a capacity of around 200 kilowatts, generating 200,000 units of electricity yearly. "Our sustainability policy ensures our operations leave only the lightest possible carbon footprint on the environment," said park chief executiveMatthias LiSing-chung.

"We strive to optimize energy efficiency of all facilities."

Below the Polar Adventure roof array visitors can see a variety of cold-climate species. There are also interactive educational displays about polar animals, the impact of climate change and how to reduce a carbon footprint in daily life.

But Ocean Park is just one of many powering up the same way.

A number of organizations and schools have expressed interest in the scheme, Hong Kong Electric said. Among them are Queen Mary Hospital and Hong Kong University Graduate Association College in Southern District. Heng Fa Chuen, the private estate in Eastern District, has also decided to join the scheme early by installing a small-scale solar system within its area. It will consider installing more solar panels if a pilot project packs powerful promise.

Hong Kong Electric is not alone in tapping into people power.

A similar scheme has been introduced by the SAR's other electricity generator, CLP Group.

It had received around 260 applications by the end of July, CLP reported.

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