ADB commits to fund 500MW Bangladesh solar PV project

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According to the United News of Bangladesh, top executives at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to help finance a 500MW solar system, which will be built at locations throughout Bangladesh. The plan has officials proposing the 500MW solar system include solar irrigation pumps, solar rooftop installations in urban areas and mini solar grid plants in rural areas.

The financial commitment from ADB came during the three-day Asia Solar Energy Forum Conference in Bangkok, which ended June 1. “Responding to our call, ADB has in principal agreed to provide the financial support to a 500MW capacity solar energy project. Now, other things will be worked out to implement the proposed project and the amount of fund will be determined on that basis,” stated Tapos Kumar Roy, additional Secretary of the Power Division, who attended the conference.

ADB officials have speculated that the 500MW installation will need to have around a US$3 billion investment; 60% as a capital fund, 20% as a long-term soft-loan and the remaining 20% provided under investments by the government and private sector.  Bangladesh officials advised that the solar project would ease the grid’s load and lead to a US$100 million savings in fuel subsidies while producing carbon credits over US$100 million.

As of now, the plan has a hypothesized solar commercialization date for 2015 and grid parity solar electricity generation by 2020. The 500MW would be distributed among nine Bangladesh ministries, which will work with the Power Division to generate solar power for various institutions, including rural health centers, schools and other socially impacted organizations.

The Bangladesh Power Ministry plans to installation 100MW of solar panels in different areas while the Railway Division will set up 50MW installations at various rail stations. The Local Government Engineering Department will incorporate 70MW of installations in cities, while the Housing and Public Works Ministry delivers 100MW to public buildings.

The Health Ministry intends to set up 50MW, while the Religious Affairs Ministry develops 10MW installations on various mosques and religious institutions. The Education Ministry plans to install 40MW at different schools and colleges and the Industries Ministry will deliver 20MW to state-owned mills and factories. Finally, the Agriculture Ministry will establish 80MW of solar-based irrigation pumps throughout the country.

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