First solar power in Sri Lanka

It was inaugurated yesterday with the participation of Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara, Hambantota District Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and ambassador of the Republic of Korea Choi Jong Moon .

The Korean government through the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA) financed this solar power plant at a cost of Rs. 412 million.

The Sustainable Energy Authority under the concept of – ‘electricity for all’ will handle the total project.

This power plant generates 2,300 units of electricity daily and generates 839,500 kilowatt hours annually.

Power generated by this solar power plant to the national grid will save 200,000 litres of diesel annually and emission of 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the environment will be stopped.

Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka addressing the ceremony said the pledges given by him when he was assigned the Power and Energy Ministry has become a reality and the ministry has become an institution where public are served efficiently as promised.

He was optimistic that the concept – ‘electrify for all by 2012’ will be achieved as promised.

The ministry will provide solar power units to difficult areas that cannot be served using the national grid at a concessionary rate. The solar power plant project was initiated to test the country’s potential to develop solar power as a key power source. Only six percent of renewable energy is being used and by 2020 around 20 percent of renewable energy will be harnessed to feed the national grid, he said.

Hambantota District Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa said he will take steps to make Hambantota an environment-friendly district with the development of solar power. Another 600 acres of land will be given for this from Hambantota district, he said.

The ministry has lined up several large scale solar power projects in the North and East as well as in the North Central Provinces. Solar power is expected to play a major role in the country’s power generation in future.