Sri Lanka regulator wants fast grid connection of rooftop solar
ECONOMYNEXT – The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the energy regulator, has asked the state-owned power utility and distributor to connect domestic rooftop solar plants to the national grid within two weeks from the date of application.
The PUCSL said in a statement its decision to ask the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company Private Limited (LECO) to expedite grid connection of rooftop solar plants was to encourage more people to adopt the technology.
A severe drought has reduced hydropower capacity and the government has said it will buy emergency thermal power to ward off power cuts.
“The direction to provide the connection for rooftop solar plants to the national grid in an efficient manner within a time fame will encourage people to move for solar power,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said.
Sri Lanka aims to add 200 MW of solar electricity to the national grid by 2020 and 1000 MW by the year 2025.
“Among the non- conventional renewable energy (NCRE) sources, rooftop solar PV is considered as one of the fastest technologies to install and integrate into the grid,” the PUCSL said.
The government’s “Soorya Bala Sangramaya” (‘Energy Battle’) programme is one strategy to support future energy requirements, it said.
“Sri Lanka added about 42 megawatts of capacity to the national grid through domestic rooftop solar plants by the end of 2016,” Kumarasinghe said.
Sri Lanka has 7904 domestic rooftop solar plants installed and connected to the national grid.
This includes 256 rooftop solar plants in Southern province, 4806 plants in Western province, 184 plants in Central province, 105 plants in Sabaragamuwa province, 249 plants in North Western province, 98 plants in North Central, 1707 plants in Northen province, 32 plants in Uva province and 73 solar plants in Eastern province.
Government policy is to increase the existing 50 percent of the electricity generation based on the renewable energy sources to 60 percent by 2020 and up to 70 percent by 2030 and to generate the total energy requirement through renewable and other indigenous energy resources by 2050.
(COLOMBO, Jan 25, 2016)