80 palli biddyut buildings to install rooftop solar plants

All Palli Bidyut Samity (PBS) office building rooftops to have solar plants as part of the government’s plan to promote green energy, official sources said. PBS, under Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), is going to set up rooftop solar plants in all its 80 office buildings to produce of 800 kilowatt (KW) of electricity.

A top official told Bangladesh Post that initially BREB plans to install plants and produce 10 KW of electricity to be transmitted to on-grid solar plants in 11 Samities including Dhaka-1 & 2. Other Samities are, Gazipur, Mymensing, Valuka, Tanggaile, Manikganj, Norsingdhi and Munsiganj. To this end recently a tender has been floated. It will be installed in its 80 Palli Biddyut Samiti in phases.

‘The project will be implemented under the Net Metering System (NMS), in which the PBS will consume its own electricity first and then sell the extra or unconsumed power to the national grid,’ official sources added. According to the Renewable Energy Policy 2008, the government is supposed to generate 5 percent power from renewable sources by 2015.

The government is now eyeing a target of generating 10 percent (2000MW) of power from renewable resources by 2020. Currently, more than 600MW of electricity is being generated from renewable energy. It also plans to generate 2,896MW electricity from the same sources by 2021. However, many efforts have already been made to attain the goal.

According to Power Cell, currently, the country’s combined power-generation capacity stands at 22,329MW (with captive and renewable energy), while highest generation was 12,893MW, a Power Cell estimate shows. The government has a target of generating 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, 40,000MW by 2030, and 60,000MW by 2041.

With the government launching the country’s largest solar power plant, with a 20MW capacity—in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on October 31 last year—the share of renewable energy in power generation is yet to reach three percent. On the other hand Bangladesh Railway is going to set up rooftop solar plants in its stations, office buildings, junctions, workshops and staff quarters across the country.

An initial consensus has been reached there over the issue in a joint meeting on July 25 at the Railways Ministry, where the Power Division made a presentation on the potential of the project. Three major stakeholders—Power Division, Bangladesh Railway, and state-owned financing agency IDCOL (Infrastructure Development Company Limited)—have agreed in principle to work on the project.

According to official sources, initially, about 100 MW of solar power is planned to be generated by using the rooftops of the railway establishments across the country with investment from the private sector. Power Division sources said under the proposed arrangement, Bangladesh Railway will provide its space of approximately over 10 million square feet of rooftops while private sponsors will install plants with financial support from IDCOL.