The move to build up of a solar power plant at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) has gained pace after a high-profile team paid visits to several international airports of India to see how their solar power plants operate.
The expert team comprising seven members visited those airports as part of feasibility study of the project and found its due relevance and viability for the country.
Headed by an additional secretary of the civil aviation and tourism ministry, the committee visited the neighbour country in mid-September in order to physically observe the function of solar plants at its airports, said official sources.
The sources added that the visits also aimed at gathering knowledge about entire technical and engineering issues related to the operation of the plants. It was learnt that a report based on the experiences accumulated during the tour has also been prepared by the committee.
The team members were included from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Power Development Board (PDB) and Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. With a view to meeting electricity demand from their own sources, a number of airports of India have set up photovoltaic solar plants on their premises.
Among the airports powered by solar energy, Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport, and Cochin International Airport in Kerala are mentionable.
The Bangladesh team visited the first two out of the mentioned airports and made view exchanges with the airport authorities concerned. The team members believed that the experiences they have gathered from the tour will be helpful for setting up a 15-17 megawatt solar power plant in HSIA as well as in other airports across the country. It would meet one-third of HSIA’s own electricity requirement, they 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, they added.
According to solar energy experts, rooftop and free space of HSIA can offer a cheaper option for solar power generation with a minimal cost. A technological advancement has addressed all the concerns related to solar PV installation at the airports, they opined, adding that modern solar PV panels are made with dark-colored materials and covered with anti-reflective coatings which minimise the glare effects.