Bangladesh to complete 7.4 MW of solar capacity in April

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The project will be the country’s second-largest PV installation. In September, the nation’s biggest solar plant — with a capacity of 20 MW — started generating electricity in Teknaf, in Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong. The Rangamati array, which is being built in Kaptai district, will supply electricity to a nearby 2 MW hydropower plant, with the rest of its output to be fed into the national grid.

The plant was built at a cost of $14 million and was jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the government of Bangladesh, and the country’s Power Development Board (PDB). China’s ZTE Corp. is building the project. Upon completion, the installation will supply electricity to the grid at a rate of $0.065/kWh.

A senior PDB official told pv magazine that the government aims to generate 10% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2021. However, he noted that the nation’s cumulative installed renewables capacity currently stands at just 559 MW, which is far below the official target. The country has already installed 325.82 MW of solar capacity, in addition to 230 MW of hydropower, 2.90 MW of wind, 0.68 MW of biogas, and 0.40 MW of biomass.

In recent years, the government of Bangladesh has approved a significant amount of renewables capacity for development. A number of those projects are now at an advanced stage of construction. Several foreign nations and international agencies have since come forward to provide funds to back the development of the plants, in order to help provide electricity to the power-hungry nation.

Earlier this month, the World Bank revealed plans to provide funds to support the development of 310 MW of renewable-energy capacity in Bangladesh. Days after that announcement, Riyadh-based infrastructure developer Alfanar signed a $100 million agreement to build a 100 MW solar project in the country. And in January, the ADB agreed to back the development of two floating PV projects in Bangladesh, starting with a 50 MW array in Chittagong.