SL to reach solar power purchase deal with Australian firm
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka, currently remaining extremely reliant on fossil fuels for the generation of its electricity, is now encouraging renewable energy projects especially solar and wind power plants with foreign investor involvement.
It has set itself the goal of increasing their renewable contribution to 70% of electricity production by 2030 as the installed capacity is insufficient to meet growing demand.
The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal today seeking to enter into a Solar Power Purchase Agreement with the Australia-based company United Solar SGroup.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said through this deal, an investment would be made in a 700 MW Solar Power Project with a 1,500MW Battery Energy Storage System.
“The Solar power project will be installed on the surface of the Poonakary Tank in the Killinochchi District, with a Foreign Direct Investment of US$ 1,727 Million,” Wijesekera added.
Moreover Volta Investissements, a France-based renewable energies producer, has announced the conclusion of a $ 4 million capital raising designed to accelerate the implementation of its solar projects in Sri Lanka.
This fundraising will allow Volta to accelerate the construction of solar power plants, developed and installed on the roofs of Sri Lankan schools by its local partner Gaia Greenenergy Group. More than 500 schools already equipped with solar roofs
Since 2021, Gaia and Volta have been installing PV solar rooftops on Sri Lankan schools and hospitals. Having commenced in the Uva Region, with over 500 schools equipped as of Q1 2023, the Franco-Sri Lankan IPP is now seeking to launch the construction of similar assets in two new provinces
The combined initial investments of Norfund and Volta will support the overall construction of photovoltaic assets, 44 MWp, and help further secure the pipeline.
This capacity is expected to generate around 64 GWh per year, thus avoiding more than 41,000 t CO2 eq. per year.
The investment is made from the New Norwegian Climate Investment Fund that was set up by Norfund, with the goal of alleviating greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy in developing countries .Sri Lanka is one of eight prioritized countries for the new fund.