ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s energy regulator has asked the state power utility to urgently buy new power plants, make full use of available plants by postponing repairs, encourage self-generation by captive generators and increase solar rooftop generation to ward off looming power cuts.
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said successive failures of monsoons have led to very low storage in hydro power reservoirs – less than 500 GWh.
It recommends a series of immediate actions to “mitigate the impact of power shortages” during the January – April period in 2017, usually dry months in the island.
Scheduled repairs to several thermal power plants should be postponed till after the dry weather period, the PUCSL said in a letter to the Ceylon Electricity Board.
It recommends that the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation fuel refinery and private power plants should maintain strategic fuel reserves to cope with supply disruptions.
The authorities should promote self-generation by captive generators to reduce the demand during the day and peak periods.
“In addition, CEB should look in to the possibility of importing energy from these plants to the grid,” the PUCSL said.
The CEB plans to add 170 MW of furnace oil fired generation capacity in 2017 under its generation plan.
“CEB should take immediate action to purchase shortage in generation from available plants,” the PUCSL said.
The regulator also said the CEB “should expedite the procurement process” in its tender for 50 mobile generation units after bids close on 4th January 2017 and ensure the availability of plants by March 2017.
CEB and the Sustainable Energy Authority should “expedite connection” to start commercial operations under small scale generation on Standardized Power Purchase Agreements, it said.
(COLOMBO, Dec 27, 2016)