Govt. green lights 700 MW solar power project in Kilinochchi

Wednesday, 13 September 2023 00:20 –      – 177

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  • Project involves substantial $ 1.7 b FDI with $ 500 m allocated for domestic project components
  • Plans include construction of 3 anicuts around Poonakari Lake to protect against potential seawater intrusion, costing $ 13.5 m
  • Cabinet clears solicitation of EoIs from potential investors interested in leading renewable energy projects with a capacity of 50 MW or more

The Government approved the establishment of a 700 MW solar power plant, complemented by a battery energy storage system at Kilinochchi Poonakary Lake proposed by United Solar Energy SL with an investment of over $ 1.7 billion.

Accordingly, a Cabinet-appointed negotiation committee will be formed to assess the proposal, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive evaluation and recommendations process.

“This endeavour is poised to provide an impressive power supply of 134 MW, marking a significant step towards bolstering renewable energy infrastructure in Sri Lanka. It is one of the biggest investments the Northern Province secured so far,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday.

The project represents a substantial foreign direct investment of $ 1727 million, with $ 500 million earmarked for domestic project components. As part of the comprehensive plan, the project proponent company intends to construct three anicuts around Poonakari Lake, fortifying the area against potential seawater intrusion at an estimated cost of $ 13.5 million.

The Northern Provincial Council, the Northern Provincial Irrigation Department and the Agricultural Development Department have already extended their support, offering a 35-year lease agreement for 1,080 acres of the shallow lake area. “This cooperative agreement is pivotal in facilitating the establishment of the 700 MW power plant, showcasing a collaborative approach towards realising this groundbreaking renewable energy initiative,” he added.

In tandem with this development, Gunawardena said the Cabinet approved securing to solicit expressions of interest (EoIs) from potential investors keen on spearheading renewable energy initiatives with a capacity of 50 MW or greater. “This move aligns with efforts to expedite the implementation of robust renewable energy programs across the country,” he added.

The proposal to this effect submitted by Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday.