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Sri Lanka mulls offshore wind power plants

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s new government wants to promote offshore wind power plants off the north-west coast in the Mannar Basin area, a senior official said.

Suren Batagoda, Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy said the move was part of a push to increase use of renewable energy and reduce emissions.

Energy studies indicate Sri Lanka has potential to generate 24,000 megawatts of wind power.

"Wind power capacity has not been fully developed because plant factor was only 18-20 percent," Batagoda told a recent forum.

"But we found in the Mannar Basin 45-50 percent plant factor, almost identical to coal power plants," he said.

The ‘plant factor’ refers to how many hours a power plant is actually run and is linked connected to the load level of the national grid, which can vary widely between the peak and
off-peak hours.

"We’re thinking of developing offshore wind power potential as the offshore technology is  developing very fast," Batagoda said.

"Sri Lanka has a big sea and the cost of power plants are going down. We want to encourage the private sector to develop offshore wind and solar power."

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