Bangladesh prepares plans for two floating solar plants

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Two floating solar plants are being planned in Bangladesh, one with a 50 MW capacity and another with its scale yet to be decided.

Kaptai Lake in the Chittagong district will have a 50 MW capacity and backing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), whose board has approved the funding but has yet to notify the Bangladeshi government, Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary of the bank’s power division told pv magazine.

Once the fund is available, the feasibility study will begin, said Alauddin, adding: “We kept the study as a part of the project since the floating solar plant concept is [a] new one in Bangladesh.”

And a separate 10 km² section of the Padma river in Manikganj district appears set to host floating solar after no objections were raised to the plans, with Dynamic Green Energy Ltd ready to start work.

Fazle Elahi Chowdhury, Dynamic’s managing director, told pv magazine the project’s production capacity will be fixed after completing a feasibility study, adding the company is waiting to sign a deal with the nation’s ministry of land for the plant.

Solar will lead the way

According to Bangladesh’s Power System Masterplan 2016, the nation’s renewable energy potential is around 3,666 MW.

Of that, the majority – 2.68 GW – would come from solar, with large-scale projects supplying 1.4 GW, solar rooftops 635 MW, residential systems 100 MW and solar irrigation systems 545 MW.

The Bangladeshi government wants to generate 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2021. However, current renewable generation of 559 MW – 325.82 from solar – is far short of that goal.

In November, the ADB board approved $2.34 million for technical assistance in Bangladesh to assess the potential of floating PV and develop a renewables investment plan.