American power company Eleris Energy has agreed to construct five 200MW solar plants on the Swarna Dweep island administered by the army and used for training exercises, with the capacity due online within five years.

A trust set up to provide for the pensions of retired army personnel in Bangladesh has announced a deal to bring 1GW of solar generation capacity to the country within five years.

Under the terms of a deal with US-based power company Eleris Energy Ltd, five 200MW solar fields will be developed on the Swarna Dweep island in the Bay of Bengal, which the Bangladesh Army uses for training.

Grid connected

The plants will be connected to the Bangladeshi grid and will export any electricity not needed for on-site consumption, to help the nation towards a target of sourcing 40% of its power from renewables by 2041.

The deal, signed in Dhaka on Thursday by Eleris chief operating officer Jerry Price and Army Welfare Trust MD brigadier general Abul Mansur Md Ashraf Khan, follows a memorandum of understanding signed by Eleris and various Bangladeshi partners last year which related to 2.2GW of solar plans.

The solar sites will be constructed on the 360km2 island in the Meghna River which is part of the Noakhali district of the Chittagong division of Bangladesh, in the southeast of the country.

Eleris, based in Houston, Texas, states on its LinkedIn page that it constructs power projects in return for controlling stakes in the facilities.

No financial details about the solar plan were released by Eleris or the Army Welfare Trust.

Bangladesh currently hosts around 780MW of renewable energy generation capacity.