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Move underway to turn Shahjalal Airport into a solar-powered one

Sadrul Hasan, UNB Staff Writer

Monday 02 July, 2018 07:12:53 pm

Move underway to turn Shahjalal Airport into a solar-powered one

Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - The government is moving ahead with a plan to turn Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport into a solar-powered one by utilising its huge open space. 

The plan was taken following a remarkable success by an Indian airport which has now become a fully solar-powered one.

According to officials, Cochin International Airport in the Indian state of Kerala first set up a 13.1 MW capacity plant on 45 acres of land and commissioned it in October, 2015.

Now, various international airports in India and some other airports in other countries are trying to follow the Cochin airport to implement such solar power projects.

Meanwhile, an international company has expressed its interest to implement such a project at the Dhaka airport and submitted its proposal to the Power Division to this end.

Company officials have also met a top government policymaker to explain the project proposal.

Receiving the instruction from the policymaking level, the Power Division initiated a move to implement the project.

Since the airport is under the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, the Power Division has made communication with it.

Finally, a high-powered committee has been formed comprising representatives from different ministries and departments concerned, including the Power Division, with an additional secretary of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry as its head.

Official sources said the committee will first visit the Indian solar-powered airport to get physical experiences on the proposed project and then take the next course of action to implement the solar power project.

“We’ve already communicated with our High Commission in India to arrange the visit talking to the Indian authorities,” said a top official at the Power Division.

About the visit, Power Division Joint Secretary Mohammad Alauddin, who deals with renewable energy-related issues, said the proposed visit will take place once the government receives consent from the Indian authorities.

He said if the Indian project seems to be fruitful for Bangladesh, the government will move with the idea to implement it. “Required feasibility and other studies will be conducted before implementation of the project,” he said.

Renewable energy experts believe Shahjalal Airport can easily set up solar power system on its open space as it has an area of 1,981 acres of land.

According to Indian media reports, Cochin International Airport has been the seventh busiest airport in India which set up the 13.5 MW solar project at a cost of about $10 million.

The plant, comprises of 46,150 solar panels, was installed by Germany-based M/s Bosch Ltd. It is capable of generating 50,000 units of electricity every day, and is equipped with a supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA), through which remote monitoring is carried out.

The plant system is without any battery storage as it is directly connected to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) grid. CIA gives as much power as it produces (during the day time) to the grid, and buys back the power from them as needed, especially at night.