The renewables unit of Mumbai conglomerate Mahindra Group will carry out its first solar project in Bangladesh by providing engineering, procurement and construction services on the country’s largest solar rooftop.
Siddharth Rana, country manager for Mahindra Susten, said rooftop solar has immense potential in Bangladesh because of land scarcity, adding: “Its demand will never come down, because of power needs.”
“Fossil-fuel generated power prices are increasing over the year but the solar power production cost is going down,” Rana told pv magazine. “If the factory owners come up with plans to produce power in their building rooftops, they can save a lot.”
The planned 33,000m2 array will cover multiple buildings owned by textile company Robintex Group, which will buy the electricity generated by the system from Joules Power under a 20-year rooftop leasing arrangement. Robintex is expected to procure around a third of its power needs from the $1.7 million (Rs12.6 crore) solar rooftop, for $0.077/kWh (Rs5.71518). The system will be grid connected and eligible for net metering for excess power exported to the grid.
“We are extremely proud to be engaged with Robintex towards their endeavors for sustainable production, which will enhance the made-in-Bangladesh brand and also take the country forward in achieving its sustainable development goals,” said Joules Power MD Nuher L Khan after signing the deal on Sunday.
Joules Power claims to be the largest solar power producer in Bangladesh after a 20MWac generation-capacity system came online in September 2018. The developer. which has also installed solar lighting in Teknaf, in the Cox’s Bazar district, aims to install 30 MW of rooftop PV by next year and develop several utility scale, ground-mounted projects, Khan told pv magazine.
“Apart from the importance in [the] environmental perspective, the rooftop solar is also cheap in [a] financial point of view,” said Robin Razon Sakhawat, director of German-Bangladeshi knitwear company Robintex. “The solar power helps keep our factory’s production cost stable.”
“So far we are the largest solar rooftop project owner. There are thousands of factories in Bangladesh [with] rooftops … which can be used to generate solar power generation,” he told pv magazine.
More than 12.6 MW of electricity is generated by 843 solar systems under Bangladesh’s net metering regime. The nation boasts 629 MW of renewable energy generation capacity.
By Syful Islam
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