The government continues signing power purchase agreement with private companies to buy expensive electricity from solar parks as it signed a contract on Sunday for a 30-megawatt plant to be commissioned by September 26, 2018.
Under the contract, Intraco Solar Power Limited will supply electricity from the solar park to state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board at Tk 12.80 or 16 US cents per unit or kilowatt-hour for 20 years.
The country’s average power generation cost, however, stands at Tk 5.58 per unit, said officials.
Citing some contracts signed in different countries in 2016, they also said that the countries like the United Arab Emirates would pay 2.4 cents, Chile 2.9 cents, Mexico 3.6 cents, India 4.4 cents, Peru 4.8 cents, Argentina 5.9 cents, Zambia 6 cents, Jordan 6.1 cents, South Africa 6.4 cents, Brazil and Jamaica 8.5 cents for each unit of solar power.
State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, Power Division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus and power board chairman Khaled Mahmud attended Sunday’s contract signing ceremony at the Bidyiut Bhaban in the capital, Dhaka.
On the same occasion, the Power Division also signed the project implementation agreement with Intraco.
Besides Intraco, the power board also signed contracts with three private companies — Southern Solar Power Limited, HDFC SinPower Ltd and HDISUN-Power Point & Haor Bangla-Korea Green Energy Ltd — between February 2016 and January 2017 to buy solar electricity at Tk 13.6 or $0.17 per unit for 20 years.
On February 9, the power board signed similar contract with Jules Power Limited to get electricity at approximately $0.14 per unit.
The combined capacity of the five solar parks is 332MW, which would put a huge financial burden on the power board due to the pricy electricity, warned officials.
In the past three years or so, a good number of private companies were in discussion with the government to set up grid-tied solar parks, said Nasrul at the contract signing ceremony.
But not a single solar park has been commissioned so far, he said, urging Intraco to maintain the timeframe
which has been made mandatory in the contract.
The price of solar power was attractive, said Kaikaus, warning that the company would be penalised if they failed to commission the solar park in due time.
He said that it was the country’s commitment to introduce renewable sources in power generation although the rate of carbon emission by the nation was negligible.
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