Sri Lanka in fresh push for 100MW floating solar project

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The project was initially proposed by Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena (Credit: Sri Lankan government)

The Sri Lankan government has revived previously announced plans for a 100MW floating solar project, green-lighting its construction alongside Canadian partners.

Earlier this week, the cabinet of ministers signed off on the addition of a floating installation on the Maduru Oya reservoir, on the island’s east.

The scheme was first proposed in 2017 and will now be, ministers agreed, developed through a joint venture with Canadian Solar Institute; the partnership was proposed by Canada’s own government.

The project approved this week is a joint proposal by Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena – who is also minister for developments in the Mahaweli basin, where the reservoir sits – and energy minister Ravi Karunanayake. Its next few steps will be decided by a newly-created steering committee.

The go-ahead to floating PV follows the decision by ministers, only last week, to approve the development of 28 small-scale solar projects across the island. The plants, selected by a negotiation committee, will sell power at prices of LKR12.84-15.93 (US$0.072-0.089) per kWh.

Sri Lanka was active last year working to promote PV, announcing a 10MW tender and a 90MW RfP for small-scale solar. In 2017, the country raised US$50 million from the Asian Development Bank for the deployment of a 50MW rooftop PV pipeline.  

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