Bangladesh to assess impact of integrating renewables into grid

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With renewable energy taking root in Bangladesh, the government’s Power Division has issued a request for expressions from interest from consultants to help it prepare the national grid for rising penetration from intermittent electricity generation.

The assessment of how to integrate renewables into the power supply and to draw up the necessary standards, procedures and planning methodologies will be financed by the Asian Development Bank’s Bangladesh Power System Enhancement and Efficiency Improvement Project.

The international tender will be open until Christmas Eve and the government is seeking a team including a renewable energy technical professional, a transmission consultant and a renewable energy storage expert – all with international experience. Bangladeshi expertise will be required from a policy consultant and a financial and economic analyst.

Team profiles

The technical member of the team must have either a degree in engineering or a master’s in renewable energy and 20 years’ experience, including five years of working with large scale renewables power projects. Ideally, they will have carried out feasibility studies on renewable energy plants with generation capacities of at least 50 MW, have a good understanding of power system planning and load system dispatch and have knowledge of government acts, rules, policies and tariff systems relating to power systems.

The transmission consultant should have a degree in electrical or mechanical engineering as a minimum and at least 15 years’ experience in the power sector including in generation, transmission or distribution network analysis and grid integration of renewables. They should have at least five years’ experience in high and medium voltage transmission systems and knowledge about grid stability and how to integrate renewables into power networks.

The storage member of the team must have a degree in engineering or a related subject and at least five years’ experience in energy storage, ideally renewables-based.

The local policy professional must have either a master’s in any subject, a master of laws (LL.M.) or a BSc in engineering and knowledge of the law and regulations of Bangladesh. They must have at least five years’ experience of the electricity-related acts, policy, rules and regulation of Bangladesh relevant to power generation, transmission, distribution and renewable energy issues.

Modest renewables target

The local financial and economic expert must have at least a master’s in economics, finance, business administration or a relevant subject with at least five years’ experience in financial or economic analysis. They will produce a cost-benefit analysis of the project including a possible tariff model for the transmission of renewables-based power through the grid.

Power Division officials said a power system masterplan has been prepared to help fulfill the aim of supplying reliable, affordable electricity to all Bangladeshi citizens by 2021. The national renewable energy policy envisages 10% of the power mix coming from clean energy.

The four-month study carried out by the successful consultants will identify the maximum volume of renewable energy which can be fed into the grid, including annual targets up to 2041, and will include a cost-benefit analysis on the possible adoption of energy storage into the network.

Power Division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus told pv magazine the modest 10% renewables target in the national energy mix was set because “high supply from renewables may destabilize [the] grid”.