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Setting up solar power plant viable at Shahjalal Airport, BD
Solar power plant outside Bangladesh - Photo. Courtesy UNB

Setting up solar power plant viable at Shahjalal Airport, BD

Dhaka, Oct 25 – The move to set up a solar power plant at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has gathered pace as a 7-member high-profile team visited some of the international airports in India and found it viable for Bangladesh as well. According to official sources, the committee, headed by an additional secretary of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, visited India in mid-September to physically observe the operation of solar power plants at airports there and other related technical and engineering issues.
The committee prepared a report on the basis of the experience gathered during the tour.
The team members were included from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Power Development Board (PDB) and Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
India has already turned a number of airports into solar-powered ones by setting up photovoltaic solar plants on their premises to meet their electricity demand from their own sources.
Cochin International Airport in Kerala, Bangalore Kempe Gowda International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata are among the airports turned into solar-powered ones.
Of the Indian airports, the Bangladesh team visited the last two and exchanged their views with the authorities concerned there to get the right idea of implementing solar power projects at airports.
“We found the solar projects there very effective and such projects could be implemented at HSIA and other airports of Bangladesh,” Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary of the Power Division, who was a member of the team, said.
He said, there are similarities between the airports in India and Bangladesh as the weather, sunlight and other related things are almost the same.
As per their experience gathered from the visit, he said, they believe Shahjalal Airport could generate about 15-17 MW of electricity from the solar project, which would meet one-third of its own electricity requirement.
Alauddin said the HSIA has 1981 acres of land of which more than 40 acres may be used for the development of a solar PV power plant.
Solar energy experts believe free space and rooftop of Shahjalal Airport can offer a cheaper option for solar power generation with a nominal cost.
With the technological advancement, they said, all the concerns over solar PV installation at the airports have been addressed.
They said modern solar PV panels are made with dark-coloured materials and covered with anti-reflective coatings which minimize the glare effects.
“Solar PV modules also don’t emit electromagnetic waves over distances that could interfere with radar signal transmissions. Exploiting advanced technology solar PV systems are increasingly being installed at airports across the world,” said a solar technology expert. – UNB