Sri Lanka eyes power storage plant for renewables

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has been given the go ahead to identify and conduct a feasibility study on a pumped storage plant to tide over the time gaps between demand and supply and store energy, the state information office said.

A pumped storage plant involves two reservoirs in a cascade, where water from the lower one is pumped up to the higher one using excess power generated from either renewable energy such as solar during daytime, or high winds or large thermal plant at optimal capacity.

The water is then used to generate power during peak demand such as the night, when the water flows back to the lower reservoir. A pumped storage unit acts as a battery storing potential energy.

A second reservoir could be built next to an existing one provided the geography permits. A pumped storage unit could also be built connected to the sea.

A preliminary study carried out with the Japan International Co-operation fund has identified the Arananayake area in the Ma Oya valley and Wewatenne in Kandy as suitable locations to build the pumped storage unit.

The CEB has proposed to find the most suitable location and carry out a full feasibility study.

There was money available from a Green Power Development and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project of the Asian Development Bank for the study.

The Cabinet of Ministers had given the go ahead to conduct the study.

A pumped storage plant was proposed in the 2018-2037 generation expansion plan of the CEB which was to be started from 2015 onwards. (Colombo/Jan30/2021)

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