Hero Future Energies plans first Indian investment in Bangladesh grid scale solar

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Hero Future Energies has proposed a 50 MW solar power plant in the Khulna district of southwestern Bangladesh which would involve the lowest solar power tariff offered to a non-publicly-procured grid scale solar project in the country.

The project, if agreed by Bangladesh’s cabinet committee on government purchases, would also mark the first Indian investment in utility scale solar in its northeastern neighbor.

The New Delhi-based solar developer, part of the Hero Motors Company group, negotiated a tariff of $0.1025/kWh (Rs7.5473), according to government officials.

A Bangladesh Power Development Board official said the proposed project would cost around $50 million (Rs368 crore).

Hero Future Energies originally envisaged a 100 MW project at the site but had to halve the scale because of the capacity of power evacuation infrastructure available.

Tariffs

The lowest solar tariff awarded in Bangladesh to date was the $0.065/kWh agreed for the $13.25 million, government-owned, 7.4 MW facility built in Rangamati district by Chinese company ZTE Corporation, which came online a year ago. That plant was financed by the Asian Development Bank.

The Hero Future Energies website states the company wants to expand its solar and wind project portfolio to 5 GW by 2022. “The company is ambitious about tapping into the incredible opportunities that lie in both domestic and overseas markets as well as new technologies, namely storage, hybrid projects etc,” states the site.

Of the 34 solar projects approved by the Bangladeshi government, 26 have come from the private sector. Four plants have come online as part of the nation’s 649 MW of clean power generation facilities, 11 are at the construction stage and 19 are under development.

The government is aiming for 10% of its generation mix to come from renewables by next year. Of the projects already installed, 330 MW comes from off-grid solar home systems and 318.77 MW from grid-connected facilities.

By Syful Islam

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