Wind farm to be established in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan venture capital Lanka Ventures said it will invest 384 million rupees through a subsidiary to set up a wind power plant on the island’s north-west coast.

As Sri Lankan government is encouraging the generation of electricity using renewable resources as an alternative to the electricity generated from burning fossil fuel, LVL Energy Fund (Private) Limited has entered into an agreement with LTL Holdings to set up the 10 MW wind turbines plant in Kalpitiya in the Northwestern coast of the island.

Lanka Energy Fund is to invest Rs. 384 million in the wind power project representing an equity stake of 40%, reported business website News360. The joint venture will go as Pawan Danavi (Private) Limited.

Senok Wind Power, Sri Lanka’s first commercial wind farm, is in Puttalam in the island’s north western coast using a 10 MW. The company has installed eight wind turbines from India’s Suzlon Energy Ltd. The wind farm uses eight model S64 -1250 Suzlon constant speed wind turbines driven by a three-bladed epoxy bonded fibreglass rotor with a diameter of 64 metres.

Sri Lanka has huge potential for generating power from wind energy. The main windy season is during the South-West monsoon, from May to September, and the secondary windy season from December to February. The wind-mapping results of Sri Lanka show many areas that are estimated to have good-to-excellent wind resources.

These areas are concentrated largely in two major regions. The first is the north-western coastal region, from the Kalpitiya Peninsula up north to Mannar Island and the Jaffna Peninsula. The second region is the central highlands in the interior of the country, largely in the Central Province but also in parts of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces.

The recent estimate of wind resource assessment in Mannar area is approximately 8000 to 10000 MW and in Kalpitiya and Puttalam area has an estimated potential of 500 to 1000 MW, which translates to an investment potential of $10-13 billion. If the windy lagoons are included, the total available potential would be about 20,000 MW.

At present, the total installed power generation capacity is about 10,000 MW of which 58 per cent comes from thermal sources, 41 per cent from hydroelectric and the balance from other sources, including wind power.

With the enormous potential available, wind alone can cater to more than Sri Lanka’s total power requirements. After meeting Sri Lanka’s growing power demand, the excess power generated by the wind sector can be utilised for export to India. The proposed HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) inter-connection of the southern grid with Sri Lanka will help expand the power market for generation projects in India, and vice-versa.

The power supply scenario in both countries suggests that, in the short-term period, India and Sri Lanka can exchange power to the tune of 2,000 MW and in the medium term about 5,000 MW. There exists an excellent opportunity for India business to invest in wind power market in Sri Lanka. This could be a win-win situation for both Indian investors as well as Sri Lanka, which needs huge investments in the power sector to meet the increasing demand.

At present, Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Gamesa Corporation, is executing a large wind power project in Puttalam area. The wind farm is under installation and commissioning.

Sri Lanka’s wind climate is primarily determined by the two Asian Monsoons the South West (SW) and North East (NE) Monsoons. The SW Monsoon lasts from May till early October while the NE Monsoon last from December to February. The SW is the stronger of the two Monsoons and is felt along the entire West Coastof Sri Lanka as well as in interior areas and some mountainous regions. While winds over mountainous regions are highly site specific, turbulent and confined to the SW monsoon, winds over flat landscapes in the south-eastern and north-western coastal belt are more consistent and occur during both monsoons.