Breaking yet another glass ceiling in energy innovation

SOLshare and Shakti Foundation interconnect a Solar Peer-to-Peer microgrid to the National Grid

In a bid to feed excess solar energy generated from millions of solar home systems (SHS) to Bangladesh’s national power grid, a single point called the Point of Common Coupling (PCC) was launched in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Through this PCC, two power sector innovators – SOLshare and Shakti Foundation – will now interconnect one of their P2P (peer-to-peer) solar microgrids - a network of interconnected solar home systems to feed the excess solar energy into the national grid.

Through this initiative, SOLshare, initiator of the world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network for rural communities, in collaboration with Shakti Foundation, is set to break another glass ceiling in energy innovation, SOLshare states in a release. 

The PCC launch was held yesterday at SOLshare’s office in Dhaka with the prime minister’s energy advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury inaugurating it. He was joined by Javed Patel, Acting British High Commissioner to Bangladesh.

The PCC integrates Bangladesh’s two major electrification efforts- grid extension and Solar Home System dissemination. The Rural Electrification Board (REB) grid is connected to one side of the PCC, while the local microgrid from the SHS is connected to the other side.

The microgrid is self-sustaining and this grid infrastructure will be used for energy balancing with the national grid, while reducing load shedding, and increasing service stability.

Users of the Solar Home Systems (SHS) are able to sell electricity to the national grid to earn additional income while paving the path to sustainability for over six million SHS.

“We believe this will be a gamechanger in climate change mitigation measures and will help realize the country’s aspiration of generating 40% power from clean energy sources by 2041”, said Imran Ahmed, deputy executive director of Shakti Foundation.

“Having reached full electrification is a major achievement for Bangladesh. Now the need of the hour is to increase grid resilience, electricity quality, and the share of renewable energies. This pilot shows how this can be achieved by intelligently connecting user-owned assets to the national grid. Today this is starting with solar home systems, tomorrow it will continue with local electric three-wheeler (B-Tesla) batteries”, commented Dr Sebastian Groh, co-founder and managing director of SOLshare.

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