JLanka seminar on ‘Investing in a Clean Future’ sheds much needed light on future of solar in Sri La

Friday, 23 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

JLanka Technologies, Sri Lanka’s leading solar solutions provider facilitated a seminar titled ‘Investing in a Clean Future – Understanding the Value Chain of Utility-Scale Solar PV Power Plants’ to a packed audience of investors, engineers, government representatives, corporate organisations, media institutions and other stakeholders in support of the public power generating program ‘Surya Bala Sangramaya’ (SBS) on 8 March at the Kingsbury Hotel. 

“The main objective of this seminar was to create a high level of awareness among all stakeholders on key aspects of the design and implementation of solar power plants,” stated JLanka Head of Projects Eng. Channa Silva. “We were glad to bring together the key players involved in the SBS under one roof, setting the stage for an open and transparent dialogue between Power and Renewable Energy Ministry of Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Electricity Board, solar solution providers and investors. We are thrilled with the success of the event, and are encouraged to continue this dialogue in the future.”

The event kicked off with JLanka Chief Operating Officer Jayantha Jayamanna giving comprehensive insight into the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) operational value chain in solar projects. As the foremost EPC subcontractor for solar projects in the country, Jayamanna presented JLanka’s expertise and success rate with the previous SBS bidding cycle of 1MW x 60 solar power plants, and bonus value offerings. 

“Our greatest asset is our team of 400+ qualified individuals spread across 17 locations around Sri Lanka,” Jayamanna stated. “This gives us the ability to scale according to the demand of this second bidding cycle. Additionally, JLanka is the only solar solutions provider to offer a systems performance warranty up to 20 years, as opposed to conventional component warranties. This is an unmatched offering we are providing our customers with the guarantee from our partnerships with the world’s best solar companies.”

Shashidhara BV, Head of SolarEdge India and Sri Lanka at SolarEdge Technologies, JLanka’s solar inverter partner, was also present to provide the participants insight into the latest SolarEdge developments as well as trends in the industry. 

Eng. Dr. H.M. Wijekoon Banda – Chief Engineer (Transmission Planning) of the CEB, during the keynote speech titled – ‘Integration of variable renewables to the Sri Lankan grid’ – explained to the audience of the evolution of Sri Lanka’s energy grid, and the CEB’s role in ensuring the perfect integration of renewable and conventional energy to meet the demand of power consumers.

Joining him, Eng. BuddhikaSamarasekara – Chief Engineer (Generation Planning) of the CEB went on to describe the current and future status of the Sri Lankan power system. According to presented data, other renewable energy sources, inclusive of solar only took a 10% of the generated energy share in 2017, with much room for growth. Both representatives emphasised on the importance of the planning divisions of the CEB, where all potential power generation projects had to be first identified in the Long-Term Power Generation Expansion Plan of the CEB.

“We have started with 1MW scale projects, and are looking at moving on to 10MW scale solar plants next,” Eng. Samarasekara commented. “The next step is 100MW scale solar parks, but building the infrastructure for such massive scale projects will take time. Developing a transmission network alone for such a capacity would take at least two years. However, it is definitely part of our future plan for solar power.”

A panel discussion with the participation of State Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera along with the speakers concluded the seminar, where Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda – Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, thanked JLanka for facilitating the seminar and discussions between all stakeholders, to create an opportunity to resolve any queries and further improve the bidding process for 90 projects of 1 MW solar power plants on build, own and operate basis under Phase II of the SBS.