BR to set up rooftop solar plants in stations

Bangladesh Railway (BR) is going to set up rooftop solar plants in its stations, office buildings, junctions, workshops and staff quarters across the country as part of government’s plan to promote green energy across the country.Three major stakeholders -- Power state-owned financing agency IDCOL (Infrastructure Development Company Limited) -- have agreed in  to work for the project. According to official sources, about 100 MW of solar-power generation is initially planned to generate by using

the rooftops of the railway establish-ments across the country with invest-ment from the private sector.The sources at the Power .Division said underthe proposed arrangement, the BR will provide its space of approximately over 10 million square feet (sft) of rooftops while private sponsors install plants with financial supportfrom IDCOL. Power Division will buy unconsumed electricity from the plants. “An initial consensus had been 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,” said Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary ofthe Power Division and in-charge of renewable energy, told UNB. He said German

donor agency KfW, the represents of which attended the meeting,also expressed interest to extend technical and financial support to conduct a feasibility study shortly.Contacted, Railway Secretary Mofazzal Hossain said Bangladesh Railway has agreed with the idea of generating electricity from solar plants using rooftops. He said a technical committee was formed at the meeting comprising representatives of the Railways Ministry and Power Division to examine the project viability. During the meeting, official sources said, six major railway stations and

offices, 17 junctions and five work-shops of the railway are targeted for the project. The office is Rail Bhaban, while the stations are Kamalapur,Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, and Chittagong and junctions are in Jessore, Pabna, Abdulpur, Paradaho, Ishwardi, Bagerhat, Joydebpur, Syedpur, Bhairab, Burimari, Rohanpur, Tongi, Tangail, Gouripur, Laksham, and their adjacent offices and staff quarters. The major work-shops proposed for the solar plants are Parbatipur, Pahartoli, Ishwardi,Saidpur, and 569 small stations.Officials said the major stations and offices have huge rooftops of 1.5 million sft while junctions and adja-cent facilities have 3.45 million sft rooftop and workshops and small stations have 5.5 million sft rooftops.