Floating solar power plant in govt plans

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Government is planning to set up floating solar power plants across the country.

Official sources say the Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources will undertake the pilot projects in Kaptai Lake and canal of Teesta Water Barrage.

Sources say if the projects prove to be successful, more projects will be undertaken in the future.

The project will be financed by the donor agencies. The private sector will also be involved in setting up such green energy plants, officials said.

Officials said the recent success of Japan, China, India, Germany, France, China and other countries has prompted the government to move for the project.

Japan was the first country to install a floating solar power plant in 2006 in Chiba by a French firm while China is now the leader in setting up the largest floating solar power plant of 40 MW capacity in Huainan city of its Anhui province.

Officials said so far a good number of floating solar power plants were set up in 12 countries and the idea is getting popularity because of its sustainability in using water bodies where land scarcity is a big problem for setting up solar plants.

Solar power plants require a lot of land, which is scarce in Bangladesh.

Now India and other countries have taken up aggressive move to set up floating solar plants.

Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary (renewable energy) of Power Division, informed that Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already expressed keen interest to finance such project.

The government would set up a pilot project with a 10 MW generation capacity in the Kaptai Lake, as the water body is suitable for power generation.

However, a feasibility study would be conducted on the basis of study report and the Power Division would take necessary steps in that regard, added the joint secretary.

Kaptai Lake was created through embankment to supply water to the Karnaphuli hydro power project, and the huge water body is now only being used for small scale fisheries.

The Power Division senior official said, state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) would implement the proposed Kaptai Lake floating solar project.

“Kaptai Lake was chosen because of its availability of water throughout the year. Electricity evacuation will be easier because of a ready infrastructure in the Karnaphuli Hydro power project”, Alauddin told reporters.

The project might cost around Tk.100 crore.

According to Alauddin, the irrigation canal of Teesta Barrage would be another perfect place for floating solar power plant as a 30 MW plant could be installed on it.

The Water Development Board (WDB) has to approve the project as it owns and operates the Kaptai project.

Power Division would pursue the idea with the organisation through its line ministry, Alauddin added.

Teesta Barrage is located on Teesta river at Duani in Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat district of Bangladesh which discharge capacity is 12,750 cusec of water.

Power Division officials said the move for allowing IPP solar plants has been part of the government’s plan to generate 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, the sources added.

Special emphasis was laid on power production from non-conventional sources. It aims to increase the total solar power production by 10 percent by 2020 (meaning 2,000MW). The total solar power production in Bangladesh has not crossed 200MW yet.