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Sri Lanka gets bids for wind power below Rs12.50 a unit: engineers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has received bids below 12.50 rupees a unit for two 10MegaWatt wind power plant in the Northern Jaffna peninsular, showing that prices now paid are too high, engineers at the utility said.

Sri Lanka’s CEB has been paying around 22 rupees a unit for wind, on tariffs determined by the regulator, which some industry analysts said was among the highest prices in the world.

Two plants of 10 MegaWatt each had been tendered and bids as low as 12.29 cents per unit had been received.

One plant was opened for international tender. Several bids had been received around 16 rupees or below while some were said to be higher.

CEB engineers say the open competitive bidding shows that it is possible to build a plant at a much lower price than the current feed in tariff.

CEB Engineers Union said President Maithripala Sirisena had intervened to allow bids to be opened after the Treasury allegedly tried to stop the tenders from being opened.

Media reports quoted Deputy Power Minister Ajith Perera as saying that bidding process would remain suspended until the "concerns raised by the Treasury" were addressed.

Union members alleged that pressure was brought upon ministers by interested parties to cancel the tender to suppress the fact that wind plants could be built at cheaper prices.

There had been allegations from some quarters that a so-called ‘renewable energy mafia’ is trying to sell power at high prices and are practicing a greenscam on the innocent public. Meanwhile the renewable lobby says there is a ‘diesel mafia’.

There is no capacity charge, or fixed charged for renewable plants, but supply from mini-hydro, wind or solar are uncertaint due to variations in rain, wind, sun or clouds.

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A utility will typically have to maintain standby power capacity to be operated when they are not available.  (Colombo/Sept30/2016)
 

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