Bangladesh government signs up for 180 MW of solar electricity


The government of Bangladesh has agreed to buy the electricity to be generated by four solar projects with a total generation capacity of 181 MW.

The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has signed 20-year power purchase agreements as offtaker for the power to be generated by facilities ranging in scale from 3-68 MW.

Two of the projects will receive $0.102/kWh from the power company, a third will receive $0.106, and the smallest facility, which will include battery storage and diesel to supply an island community, has secured the highest price offered for ‘clean energy' in Bangladesh to date: $0.25/kWh.

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The largest solar farm to secure the government's signature yesterday is one of two projects being planned by the Bangladesh-China Renewable Energy Company Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between state-owned entities in the two nations. The JV was set up in September last year to establish 500 MW of solar capacity in Bangladesh, with China supplying the funds and Bangladesh the land.

The BPDB has agreed to pay $0.102/kWh for a 68 MW solar site planned by the JV in Sirajganj district, in the north-west of the country, and will pay $0.106 for a 60 MW project being developed in Pabna district.

Bangladesh-China Renewable has already invited bids for the engineering, procurement and construction services contracts for both projects.

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Singaporean developer Cyclect Energy was the only bidder for a 50 MW solar project planned in Chuadanga district by the power development board. After lodging a bid to accept $0.12/kWh for the electricity generated at the site, the developer eventually accepted a rate of $0.102 offered by the authority.

The BPDB had tendered for four solar plants in 2018, with the winning bidders to build, own and operate the sites, the other three of which are earmarked for Chittagong, Netrokona, and Mymensingh.

Record price

The record tariff of $0.25/kWh was awarded to a 3 MW solar-battery-diesel project which will serve 18,000 residents on the island of Monpura, in the Bhola district of southern-central Bangladesh. Local newspaper The Business Standard reported that project is being developed by Western Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd, part of Dhaka-based Western Engineering.

The government yesterday also confirmed Chinese developer Canves Environmental Investment Company Ltd will receive $0.215/kWh over 25 years for the electricity to be generated by a 42.5 MW energy-from-waste incinerator planned in Gaziur district, on the outskirts of Dhaka.

Bangladesh reportedly has 777.2 MW of renewable energy generation capacity, with solar making up 543.21 MW of that figure.

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