Sri Lanka looks to rope in generators at state agencies in emergencies

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s power regulator said it is looking at roping in standby generators of more than 130 MegaWatts idling at state agencies to support the national grid in emergencies or droughts.

A survey of state enterprises like Sri Lanka’s ports corporation and another agencies had found dozens of generators with capacities of around 1MW which could be used in emergencies, Director General of Sri Lanka’s Public Utilities Commission, Damitha Kumarasinghe said.

The regulator has already discussed with grid operator Ceylon Electricity Board and agencies which own the generators, and will submit to government a scheme to use the generators in emergencies such as droughts or generator outages, he said.

Kumarasinghe said existing schemes such as ‘self-generation’ where generator owners were paid to use them in times of supply crises left the option of starting them or not.

However under the proposed scheme generator owners would fire them up and export power to the grid, in emergencies or during the night peak.

Since the generators were already built and a sunk cost, they could supply power at fuel cost and a little extra, but at a much lower capacity charges than are usually paid for emergency power, he said. (Colombo/Apr25/2018)

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