Sri Lanka not ready yet for ‘wheeling’ of power

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka is not yet ready to allow ‘wheeling’ of power by private producers, transport of electricity generated in one part of the country to a customer in another area.

Existing laws don’t allow ‘wheeling’, which enables better balancing of supply and demand,  with the sole buyer of electricity being the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board, energy planners and managers said.

‘Wheeling’ would allow private power producers to generate electricity in the best location, especially renewable energy like wind and solar, and transmit it to where it is needed, enabling them to invest in the most appropriate area. 

"There’s no provision for wheeling now," declared Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

"Under the Electricity Act we’re following a single buyer model with the CEB transmission division buying all the electricity," he told an energy forum organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

"In the single buyer model, there’s competition at the point of purchase where the CEB tenders for energy but no provision for competition at the point of sale.

"We have to change the structure completely to adapt to competition at the point of sale," Kumarasinghe said in reply to a question on whether wheeling would be allowed, without saying if the government will change the laws in future.

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