Friendship organization has launched the first solar grid in Bangladesh's remote char region, Goynar Potol on Sunday, August 22.
The 54-kilowatt solar-powered micro-grid will bring electricity to the people of Goynar Potol, an alluvial island, locally called char, in the north of Bangladesh, located in Nayerhat Union, Chilmari sub-district, Kurigram District.
Nasrul Hamid, State Minister, of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR), Bangladesh was the chief guest of the inauguration ceremoney, said a press release.
Zakir Hossain MP, State Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, MP Barrister Shameem Haider Patwary and S. M. Monirul Islam, Deputy CEO & CFO of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) attended as Special Guests.
Nasrul Hamid said that it is not possible to bring dependable grid system or even to reach the grid system in these char island. Solar electricity can bring electric access solutions to the unreachable communities of Bangladesh.
Runa Khan, founder and executive director of Friendship said that this electrical micro-grid was entirely funded by the ENGIE Foundation and designed with the technical support of volunteers from Energy Assistance France, the ENGIE Group's internal NGO.
This solar village is the culmination of a 10-year partnership between Friendship and the ENGIE Foundation to provide access to renewable energy for the poorest populations.
This has enabled the training of more than 500 Para-Solar Technicians (PSTs) from within the communities.
Currently, the Friendship solar-powered grid supplies electricity to 114 households, including the local market composed of 24 shops, a mosque, Friendship Legal Booth, a small office where people can receive legal advice, Friendship Primary School, the Friendship Weaving Centre, Sewing Centre.
Eventually, all the inhabitants of Goynar Potol will be connected to the micro-grid.
Project officials also worked in close cooperation with local administration, namely the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, UNO; chief executive of a sub-district, of Chilmari, Kurigram and the district commissioner of Kurigram.