Sri Lanka in push for solar energy

Dec 12, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s renewable energy promotion agency is in a new drive to push larger solar power plants connected to the national grid in Sri Lanka though the technology is still relatively expensive. In rural Sri Lanka small off-grid plants are being sold by a number of private firms and solar hot water systems are also being used in grid connected buildings.

Sunny Isle

“Sri Lanka considered as a solar hot spot due to many reasons,” says Harsha Wickramasinghe, deputy director general of Sri Lanka’s sustainable energy authority.

“One is the good radiation level available in the country. And we are far ahead compared to other countries using solar electricity for rural areas.

“To this date there are about 106,000 solar power systems in Sri Lanka.”

The authority has standardized power purchase contracts (SPPA) for hydro and wind plant operators of under 10 MegaWatts. Under the contract the operators can sell power to the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board, the grid operator.

“There are many investors coming to see us trying to develop grid tied solar power system projects,” says Wickramasinghe.

“That is you directly export energy to the CEB national grid. But