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Shahjalal airport to become fully powered by solar energy

  • Published at 11:19 am July 3rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 12:30 am July 4th, 2018
A Bangladesh Biman plane at Hazrat Shahjalal International AirportRajib Dhar
File photo of a Bangladesh Biman plane at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The decision was taken following the success of an Indian airport, which has now become a fully solar-powered installation

The government is moving forward with its plan to turn Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport fully solar-powered—maximizing the use of its vast open spaces.

The decision was made following the success of an Indian airport which has become a fully-solar-powered installation.

According to officials, Cochin International Airport (CIA), 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 airports in other countries, are trying to follow the example set by the Cochin airport to implement such solar power projects.

An international company has already expressed its interest in implementing such a project at the Dhaka airport and submitted its proposal to the Power Division.

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

Receiving instructions 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 communicated with the ministry over the matter.

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

According to official sources, the committee will first visit the Indian solar-powered airport to gain on-site experience, 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 by talking to the Indian authorities," said a top official at the Power Division.

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

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

Renewable energy experts believe Shahjalal Airport can easily set up solar power system on its 1,981 acres of land.

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

The plant, comprised 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, through which remote monitoring is carried out.

The plant system does not have any battery storage as it is directly connected to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) grid. In daytime, the CIA supplies the grid with as much power as it produces , and it buys back the power from them as needed—especially at night.