Govt to build Tk 1,511cr solar power plant
The government is going to set up the country's biggest solar power plant in Madarganj upazila of Jamalpur, in a move to raise the share of renewable energy in total power generation to 10 per cent by 2025.
The 100-megawatt Sheikh Hasina Solar Park will cater to the needs of its locality and channel the surplus electricity to the national grid.
To be implemented by Rural Power Company by December 2023, the project will be placed before the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for final approval.
Its total expenditure has been estimated at Tk 1,511 crore.
Of it, Tk 1,115 crore will be provided by India at one per cent interest rate, according to Md Ferdaws Rahman, executive engineer of Rural Power Company.
"The main objective of the project is to increase power generation from renewable (solar) energy sources, diversify energy in power generation and reduce carbon emissions," he said.
The development comes amid Bangladesh's failure to achieve its target to raise renewable energy's share in total power generation to 10 per cent by 2020 due to a lack of resources, technologies and policies.
Currently, 766.51 megawatts are generated from renewable sources, accounting for 3.3 per cent of the total electricity produced.
The Renewable Energy Policy 2008 had set a goal for renewable sources to account for 5 per cent of the electricity generated by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020.
In the Eighth Five Year Plan, the target has been revised for the 10 per cent to be attained by 2025.
Meanwhile, the second largest solar plant in the public sector will be set up at Sonagazi in Feni district by the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh at a cost of $89.17 million.
Of the amount, around $74.15 million will come from World Bank as project assistance.
According to industry people, Bangladesh's main source of renewable energy was the sun but the sticking point here was a lack of land.
However, the Jamalpur solar power plant will be built on a char of the Jamuna river and the land is non-agricultural, said Rahman of Rural Power Company, who is also the project director of the solar plant.
There will be a 6.5-kilometre (km) embankment to protect the land, he added.
The project's main activities are the plant's engineering, procurement and construction, development of 325 acres of land and construction of a 47 km 132 KV power evacuation line and infrastructure connecting Ghatail Grid Substation.
Other tasks include construction of office building, workshop, warehouse and Ansar barracks and construction of homes for 88 landless families and necessary infrastructure for their rehabilitation and adoption of long term settlement of the land.