The country’s largest 60-megawatt wind-based power plant in Cox’s Bazar is all set to initiate commercial operation today (Thursday).
The operation of the plant, owned by US-DK Green Energy, will be inaugurated at a function in the city.
Located at Khurushkul near Cox’s Bazar beach, the plant has already been synchronised with the national grid after test operation months ago, project director Mukit Alam Khan told the FE.
Chinese State Power Investment Corporation and Wuling Power Corporation have invested around $117 million in the project.
A total of 22 wind turbines, from China’s Envision-Energy, are built on 110-metre tall towers, to generate 3.0 MW of electricity each.
Wind speed of at least 3.0 metres per second is required for power generation.
Full capacity can be utilised when the wind speed will be around 9.0 metres per second or above.
Average wind speed at the project site is around 5.5 metres per second and it drops slightly in winter.
The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase electricity from the plant at 12 US cents per unit (1.0 kilowatt/hour) for 18 years from the start date of its operation.
Annual power production from the plant is expected at 145.70 million kWh, said Mr Khan.
Power China Chengdu Engineering, China Hydropower Construction Group, International Engineering Co Ltd and Fujian Electric Power Engineering Company are the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors of the project.
The country built its first wind-based power plant near the dam along the Muhuri river in Feni district of south-eastern Bangladesh 18 years ago in 2005.
The state-run BPDB constructed the 0.9 MW plant.
It built the country’s second 2.0 MW wind plant three years later on Kutubdia island in the Bay of Bengal in Cox’s Bazar district.
However, both plants are no longer in operation now for distinct lack of supervision and interest.
Bangladesh looks to install a dozen wind-based plants to generate around 1,000 MW, Power Division joint secretary Nirod C Mondol, who looks after renewable energy issues, told the FE.
Three more projects with a cumulative capacity of 102 MW in Sirajganj, Bagerhat and Chuadanga districts are due for completion by 2024.
The contractor selection process for a 50-MW wind project in Chandpur Sadar and a 30-MW plant in Feni is also in the pipeline.
Moreover, tariff negotiations are underway to build a 200-MW wind plant in Chokoria of Chattogram, said Mr Mondol.
The technical evaluation for building a 100-MW plant at Banshkhali is underway and construction of another 100 MW plant in Patuakhali will be sent for evaluation soon, Mr Mondol said.
The US-DK Green Energy (BD) Ltd also submitted a proposal to Power Division for an extension of its power plant to double its capacity to 120 MW, he said.
In July, a Danish joint venture – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Copenhagen Offshore Partners – also submitted a $1.3-billion investment proposal to develop a commercial wind-based project offshore the Bay, he added.
The initial aim of the project is to generate around 500 MW of electricity.
Sources said the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NERL) conducted a study on Bangladeshi wind energy potential several years back.
The 2018 study styled ‘Assessing the Wind Energy Potential in Bangladesh: Enabling Wind Energy Development with Data Products’ said Bangladesh’s wind energy potential is at least around 30,000 MW.
“Preliminary results demonstrate that for wind speeds of 5.75-7.75 metre per second, there are over 20,000 square kilometres of land with gross wind potential of over 30,000 MW,” concluded the USAID-funded study.
The study found that nine locations across the country had an average wind speed of 5.0-6.0 metres per second at a height of over 60-80 metres above ground level.