Sri Lanka - Norway float solar power plant | Daily News

Sri Lanka - Norway float solar power plant

Sri Lanka’s first floating solar power plant built in a partnership between Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and University of Jaffna and supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo will be launched in Kilinochchi today.

The 42 KW floating PV plant will be used as a research and information sharing location while the energy produced would be used within the premises of the University of Jaffna (UoJ)-Kilinochchi campus, Prof. Dhayalan Velauthapillai of the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), a member behind this project told the Daily News.

He said the two institutions have been working on this project since May last year and Norway as a key player of the clean energy industry in the world is keen on sharing knowledge and supporting Sri Lanka to develop research projects.

This floating Solar plant has been developed by Current Solar AS, the Norwegian developer of floating PV solutions under the trade name ‘Norwegian Solar floats’.

Professor Velauthapillai said, the 42 KW floating PV plant is installed in the Renewable Energy Park at the University of Jaffna`s Kilinochchi campus. The new floating concept is based on Norwegian marine knowhow from offshore and aquaculture industries and combines well known features with innovative use of composite beams for the mounting of the solar panels. Two kinds of solar panels are used in the installation, REC Twin Peak multicrystaline modules with 295 Wp and REC N-peak monocrystalline 315 Wp modules. The installation will be monitored extensively, and degradation studies on the modules will be conducted as part of the project, as well as environmental impact studies in the pond through research projects atWestern Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Norway and University of Jaffna (UoJ).

The project has been made possible with the support of Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Energy group Equinor.

Research/Vast potential

Founded in 2017, Current Solar is a developer of Norwegian Solar Floats™ and a supplier of floating PV plants, either as a component supplier to EPC companies or as turnkey installation for project developers and investors.

Professor Velauthapillai, a past pupil of St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena said, HVL University in Norway will continue to support Lankan academics and students to learn and expand their research work by way of exchange programs. Currently two students from HVL are working with Sri Lankan students on clean energy research.

He added that Kilinochchi district has vast potential for Solar PV, Solar thermal and wind power generations. In order to engage in renewable energy research and facilitate renewable energy-based power generation in Kilinochchi, a renewable energy park is set up at the Faculty of Engineering at University of Jaffna


As a precursor, the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo in partnership with the University of Jaffna and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences organised an expert panel discussion titled ‘A new Decade: Investing in Clean Energy in Sri Lanka - Drivers and Barriers’ on Tuesday at the Galle Face Hotel.

Speaking at the event Norwegian Ambassador, Trine Joranil Eskedal said, the collaboration between Norwegian and Sri Lankan universities has yielded some very positive results. In 2018, the Norwegian Embassy together with Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association launched a Norway – Sri Lanka Clean Energy Consortium.

The consortium includes academics, researchers and private enterprises from both countries. It will facilitate research on clean energy technologies, which will be useful for the industry and beneficial for students, staff, educational institutions and private enterprises.

The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo also has a partnership with International Finance Corporation and the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy that focuses on increased solar energy generation in Sri Lanka and thereby reducing Green House Gas emissions. “It facilitates through a public-private partnership the development of solar power by implementing a solar PV of at least 50-100 Mega watt solar capacity and wind power program. The feasibility and due diligence phases are now complete and we look forward to implementing the project soon,” she added.

Emphasis on clean energy

“The path towards reaching 100% renewable energy for electricity generation will take time. But, it is promising to see that governments, researchers and higher education institutions in our two countries are putting greater emphasis on clean energy technologies to reach that goal. Public interest and private investments on clean energy are also on the rise. However, there is still a need for greater collaboration in research, development, and investments on clean energy.”

The International Energy Agency believes that global energy demand will grow by 30% over the next 25 years. This is mainly due to population growth and higher standards of living. According to available figures, in 2015, a 52% of Sri Lanka’s electricity was generated through fossil fuels. In 2016, Sri Lanka while attending the COP 22 in Morocco pledged to use only renewable energy to generate electricity by 2050.

“Within the next three decades, we need to secure access to energy for everyone, but at the same time, we also need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Further, we need to achieve both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the goals agreed upon in the Paris Climate Agreement. These are the challenges, not just for Sri Lanka, or even Norway, but for all states around the world,” the ambassador said.

Explore opportunities

She added, there should be opportunities to explore ways of adopting new clean energy technologies, to create clean energy jobs, and to develop sustainable neighbourhoods and thereby contribute to clean air and water. “We can maximize the economic and environmental benefits for our communities, while ensuring that these investments result in more clean energy added to the grid.

Though both Norway and Sri Lanka are small ocean states located in two corners of the world, our common challenge is to curb emissions to mitigate climate change and to ensure affordable and secure energy for all. Both Norway and Sri Lanka are committed to decrease and to ensure affordable and secure energy for all. Both Norway and Sri Lanka are committed to decrease carbon emissions.

We have also developed long term plans to increase the use of clean energy technologies to tackle future energy demands.

“While Norway is a small country, we are a big actor when it comes to energy. Thanks to our hydropower, which is the main source of our power, Norway has been able adopt a relatively clean power system for energy supply”.

As Sri Lanka transitions to 100% clean energy by 2050, as much of that energy as possible should come from natural sources like solar and wind, both of which are available in plenty and free.

Norway is working closely with its local partners for Sri Lanka to achieve this long-term goal by improving the mix of environmentally friendly energy sources.


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