The largest capacity solar power plant in Sri Lanka, jointly funded by Hayleys Group PLC and Windforce Pvt Ltd, has been commissioned and opened by the country’s Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Hon Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.
Located in Welikande in the Pollonnaruwa District, the 10-megawatt (MW) solar plant has been installed with a solar tracking system that will follow the sun’s rays to ensure an incrementally higher yield of approximately 20% energy, than the fixed tilt system. At full capacity, the plant could contribute 22,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) to the national grid plus generate enough electricity for roughly 10,000 homes.
Completed in just five months, the solar plant will help push forward Sri Lanka’s total installed non-conventional renewable capacity across the 500-MW mark, of which Hayleys Group’s installed capacity of renewable energy alone in wind, hydro and solar, crosses the 50-MW mark, according to Dr. Arul Sivagananathan, Managing Director, Hayleys Aventura.
“This is a momentous occasion for us as well as the entire country. We are happy to dedicate this plant to the nation. A plant of this magnitude reinstates the country’s ambition of transforming itself to a green energy producer and we at Hayleys take pride in doing our part towards this,” said Mohan Pandithage, Chairman, Hayleys Group.
“Through renewable sources such as this, we could significantly bring down the per household cost of electricity, while adhering and aligning ourselves to the government’s energy policy and plan of meeting the country’s total demand from renewable sources,” added Pandithage.
Hayleys, a Sri Lankan multinational & diversified conglomerate,also plans to obtain carbon credits for this project in partnership with Sri Lanka Climate Fund. A scheme will be set up whereby local businesses and corporates could obtain accreditation to offset their carbon footprint.
As solar power increases, Sri Lanka is expected to become self-sufficient in renewable energy sources by 2030, according to Sri Lanka’s energy sector development plan.
Solar power generation plants have been praised by environmental groups as it generates clean energy. While reducing the impact of the problem of air quality, green resource can reduce the import of oil to the country and most importantly, keep average costs of electricity down.
Also present in the opening of the power plant were Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith Perera; Chairman and Chief Executive of Hayleys Group, Mohan Pandithage; Managing Director of WindforcePvt Ltd, Asgi Akbarally; along with the leadership and management of Hayleys and Windforce.