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Sri Lanka's first commercial wind energy plant to start
19 Mar, 2010 05:53:39
By Ruwanthika Jayasinghe
Mar 18, 2010 (LBO) - Senok Wind Power, Sri Lanka's first commercial wind energy plant, will start operating this month in Puttalam in the island's north western coast using a 10 MegaWatt plant, officials said.
"This pioneering effort set from Senok has set the pace for attracting private sector investment for further development of wind power in Sri Lanka," says H. De Costa, project director of Senok Wind Power told reporters

"Senok expects to complete the project and start transmitting electricity to the national grid within the next few weeks."

The plant is located on a five kilometre long strip of land that is a kilometre wide in the Mampuri areas of Kalpitya in the Puttalam district.

The company has installed eight wind turbine generators bought from India's Suzlon Energy Ltd.

Senok Power says the site could accommodate another two rows of wind turbines to with a total capacity of 30 MegaWatts.

Officials say the firm will get 18.66 rupees plus 2.14 rupees from the first to the eight year of a standardized power purchase agreement (SPPA) under which it will sell power to the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board.

This will generate higher cashflow for the firm to pay off loans in the first few years.

From year 8 to 15 it will get 7.05 rupees and from year 16 the firm will get one rupee and 30 cents officials said. The agreement runs for 20 years.

Officials say the plant is estimated to generate 28 million kiloWatt hours of energy a year. This gives the wind farm a plant factor of slightly over 31 percent.

State-run CEB has had a 3 MegaWatt wind farm in the Southern Hambantota district which had a plant factor of less than 15 percent.

Senok says the site gets wind from an Asian monsoon system that blows in a north easterly direction from December to February and much stronger winds in a south westerly direction from May to September.

The mean annual wind speed is about 7.0 to 7.5 metres per second at 50 metres above ground level. The power plants are located 80 metres above ground.

The wind farm uses eight model S64 -1250 Suzlon constant speed wind turbine generators which can produce 1,250 kiloWatts of power driven by a three-bladed epoxy bonded fibreglass rotor with a diameter of 64 metres.

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READER COMMENT(S)
4. Vinod Apr 29
Wind is the future my friends, whether one balks at it or not wind based electricity will be a player in Sri Lanka's energy mix of the future. Some facts: It's April 29th today and Senoks "pioneering" effort is yet to be connected to the grid at puttalam. The bundled aerial cables are not yet strung on the concrete poles running along the Kalpitiya road to palavi junction. Suzlon has left the site and there are many connections left un-terminated. If one is serious about getting on with the future, one must walk the walk and get this plant online. It is sad to see these giant beauties stalled, with furled blades and broken connections unable to feed the national grid. Asynchronous or synchronous, that is the question. The answer is not blowin' in the wind...
3. Prashan Mar 20
Good move to enhance the power industry in Sri Lanka. Energy business should head towards eco-friendly sources.
2. Avinda Mar 20
This project and other wind project in pipeline along the Kalpitiya coast will end up as white elephants. There is no proper wind resource assessment that has been conducted in Sri Lanka. These wind mills are coming up based on some elementary measurements conducted in the Kalpitiya coast which shows that the wind speed up to 7.5 m/s is presence in the region.

Has any studies conducted to determine the wind density or the frequency of average wind speed, etc. So I hope the project has conducted proper evaluation of the wind resource potential in the region to arrive at the 31% load factor. My experience shows this is unrealistic.

My best guess for the this wind farm. This particular wind farm has 8 wind turbines of capacity 1.25 MW or has the capacity to produce 10 MW*24*365= 87600 MWh of electricity production, provided the optimum wind speed blows 24 hrs 365 days a year. However, wind is intermittent and generally the optimum wind speed blows only 25% of the year (all wind turbines used in this project are constant speed, therefore their operation is restricted to a narrow wind speed range).

The load factor of most wind farm is 20% and provided this wind farm has located the wind mills at correct positions, the annual electricity production is only 20% of 87600 MWh = 17520 MWh.

1. longus Mar 19
This is a long overdue project which will bring immense benefits to Sri Lanka's power crisis