Hero Future Energies secures India’s first deal for large scale solar in Bangladesh

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The International Renewable Energy Agency has estimated Bangladesh had 301 MW of grid-connected solar capacity at the end of 2020.

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Indian solar developer Hero Future Energies Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore, has been given the go ahead to construct a 50 MW solar plant in southern Bangladesh’s Khulna district.

Hero, part of the Haryana-based Hero Motors Co bike and scooter manufacturing group, will partner with Panamanian-registered investment company Business Research International Corporation on the solar project, which could represent the first Indian investment in utility scale solar in Bangladesh.

The cabinet committee on public purchase of Bangladesh today approved a 20-year power purchase agreement for the solar field, which will set a tariff of $0.1025/kWh for the electricity generated, for a total bill to the exchequer of an estimated $157 million

Hero will have to fund the acquisition of land to host the 486-acre project, plus a 17km power line and electricity sub-station, with grid access restrictions having forced Hero Future Energies to halve the scale of what was originally intended to be a 100 MW plant.

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With Chinese president Xi Jinping having today told the UN General Assembly his nation will no longer fund overseas coal-fired power projects, Bangladeshi officials have claimed the government in Dhaka has recently scrapped plans for 10 proposed coal plants, for reasons including their environmental impact.

With Bangladesh hosting just 766.8 MW of renewables generation capacity at present, the government wants 40% of the nation’s energy to come from clean power plants by 2041.

Hero Future Energies, on its website, claims to have a 1.2 GW solar and wind power portfolio with a further 1.5 GW planned or under construction. Having announced an ambition of having 5 GW of installed capacity online next year, Hero says it has developed 500 MW of large scale solar in European and Asian nations including Bangladesh, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.K.

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