Sri Lanka emergency power request shot down by regulator
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s power regulator has denied a request by state-run Ceylon Electricity Board to procure 55 MegaWatts of emergency power.
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) told the CEB that its request to buy 55 MW of emergency power was not in line with the approval given by cabinet of ministers and was not in line with its least cost power generation expansion plan
The PUCSL said 20 MW of additional capacity beyond what was approved by the cabinet of ministers.
The regulator said the CEB has not "adequately justified" the need for emergency power, and a 100 MW plant had already been re-connected to the grid recently.
Some of the small hydro plants were in operation and the inability of the CEB to deliver power due to constraints in the transmission system cannot be considered an emergency, the regulator said.
The CEB’s grid had become unstable partly due to most of the thermal generating capacity being delivered to the grid on 220kV lines and the distribution grid being mostly 130kV requiring large volumes of energy to be passed through a few coupling transformers. Two of them failed durng the dry season.
Some of the private power plants discontinued recently were in 132kV grid (link).
Though the CEB originally requested for the private plants to be renewed, in the final least cost generation plan, the renewal of private plants were not found.
CEB renewed one plant on the same term as earlier, but critics say there was a chance for it to have been renewed at a lower capacity charge since most of its capital had already been paid down, had it not been done on an emergency basis.