Sri Lanka’s WindForce commissions 10MW agrovoltaic plant in Vavunathivu.
The Morning: WindForce PLC recently commissioned a 10MW agrovoltaic plant in Vavunathivu, named Solar Universe, which was officially opened 11 October.
The plant was commissioned on 28 September, while the opening ceremony was officiated by Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera.
The construction of this 10MW ground-mounted solar power plant started in September 2021 and was commissioned 10 months later. Being an agrovoltaic plant, Solar Universe is the first of its kind for the company, as well as for Sri Lanka.
Agrovoltaic plants combine the growth of agricultural crops with solar power production, optimising the use of land to increase efficiency. Seeing that both solar power plants and agricultural crops need to be located in areas with access to ample levels of sunlight, the concept of agrovoltaic plants caters to the needs of two sectors.
The Solar Universe plant will consist of plots of land allocated to local farmers who may tend to the crops they grow and subsequently sell their harvests; paving the way for an additional source of income for them. After considering the climate and soil profile in the area, crops such as peanuts, green chillies, beans, turnips, and watermelons are already in the process of being grown. This agrovoltaic plant supports the company’s efforts towards normalising the use of renewable energy and creating a sustainable environment, and additionally increases food production and creates a livelihood for the local communities.
WindForce PLC holds a 33.33% stake of the new Solar Universe plant, which will additionally increase the company’s solar portfolio to 134.6 MW. The company is simultaneously in the midst of constructing their latest wind power plant, Hiruras Power, in Mannar. This 15 MW (10+5 MW) wind power plant is expected to be complete by the end of December 2022. This will increase the company’s wind portfolio to 84.2 MW.
Overall, with the addition of Solar Universe and Hiruras Power, WindForce’s total installed capacity will increase to 245 MW by the end of FY22/23, with an effective capacity of 146.5 MW.
Sri Lanka’s power industry, especially the renewable energy generation sector, has become a hotspot for business/investment opportunities in the country. The ongoing power crisis in the country has further expanded the opportunities in the country’s renewable energy generation sector. The growth and profits recorded by the local companies engaged in the renewable energy generation sector is indicative of the growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s renewable energy generation sector. The government of Sri Lanka is also focused on increasing Sri Lanka’s renewable energy generation capacity to 70% of the country’s total power mix. All these have resulted in foreign businesses/investors expressing interest in entering the renewable energy generation sector. Foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s renewable energy sector.
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