DPDC moves to DU buildings for solar power generation
Having failed to get necessary cooperation from government departments in using the rooftops of their buildings, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) is now moving to Dhaka University buildings to implement a solar power project on their rooftops. According to official sources, the Dhaka University authorities have agreed to provide the rooftops of its 72 structures, including different residential halls, administrative and academic buildings and housing complexes for the generation of 3.5 MW of solar power.
"We've already reached an understanding with Dhaka University to use the rooftops of their buildings for solar power generation," BPDC executive director Ramiz Uddin Ahmed told. He said a private firm, 'Bengal Solar', will take the rooftops of the DU buildings on rental basis and set up solar power plants at its own cost and sell the solar electricity to DPDC. "The firm will implement the project as independent power producer (IPP)," Ramiz Uddin added. He said a tripartite agreement will soon be signed among the three parties on the plan.
Ramiz Uddin, however, said the negotiations on tariff of the project are yet to be completed with Bengal Solar. "But we hope we'll be able to settle the tariff issue very soon," he said. The sources said Bengal Solar was asking for 11 US cents per kilowatt hour peak (each unit) while the DPDC was trying to fix it at 7.5 US cents.
Earlier, the DPDC had awarded a contract to Bengal Solar to set up rooftop solar power plants on different government departments and organisation buildings to general about 750 kilowatts of electricity. But despite a long pursue, both the DPDC and Bengal solar failed to convince the government bodies to bring them to any agreement to rent out their rooftops for solar power generation. The buildings include Food Directorate, Shilpakala Academy, Women and Children Directorate, and Education Directorate.
Ramiz Uddin said no one of the departments agreed to provide their rooftop spaces for the solar power project despite official request from both DPDC and the Power Ministry. He said all the departments and organisations showed various 'excuses' for not providing the space and some of them mentioned that they have building expansion plan. The Power Division and the DPDC assured them that all the solar structures will be set up on temporary basis and could be removed anytime, but they did not agree, he added.
Officials said the DPDC has taken the move for solar power as part of the government plan to generate 10 percent electricity from solar power by 2020 to promote renewable energy across the country. They said the country's solar power generation still remains below 300 MW while the total power generation capacity is about 18,000 MW while available power generation is about 11,000 MW. -UNB