While approving the proposals, the cabinet committee on public procurement, chaired by finance minister AMA Muhith, agreed to buy electricity from the plants at the rate of around US$0.1105 per kWh for 20 years.
Ranging between 10 MW and 100 MW, they will be installed in the remote districts of Jamalpur, Panchagarh, Nilphamari and Moulvibazar.
According to officials, a joint venture of CREC International Renewable Energy Co Ltd (CIRE) and BPDB-RPCL Powergen Ltd, Bangladesh will install a 100 MW solar power plant at a cost of $360 million in the Jamalpur district.
Meanwhile, a consortium of ib vogt GmbH (Germany), Milner Vermogensverwaltungs GmbH (Germany) and Fu-Wang Bowling and Service Ltd (Bangladesh) will set up a 47 MW plant at a cost of $171 million in the Panchagarh district.
In the same district, another 20 MW plant will be installed by Rahimafrooz-Shunfeng Consortium at a cost of $70 million.
Finally, Scatec Solar ASA, Norway will install a 50 MW plant in the Nilphamari district for around $180 million, while Symbior Solar Siam & Holland Construction will build 10 MW in the Moulvibazar district at a cost of $35 million.
President of the Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association Dipal C Barua told pv magazine that the approval of an increased number of solar power plants indicates that confidence in renewables by both private sector and government is gradually increasing.
“Many foreign investors are also coming Bangladesh to invest in renewable sector which is a good sign for the industry,” he said.
He added the first solar home system (SHS) was introduced some 22 years back in Bangladesh. Now, solar power is running irrigation pumps while solar mini grids, grid-tied systems, and solar roof tops are being installed in growing numbers across the country.
“We think use of renewable energy in Bangladesh will increase significantly and a policy support from the government is needed to flourish the sector,” he concluded.