Govt. calls for international bids to boost transmission facilities via renewable energy

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 02:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • ICB and RFPs issued to develop 70 MW AC solar PV for 11 grid substations countrywide
  • Transmission facilities will be developed on a Build-Own-Operate basis
  • First such call for ICBs in 2023 amidst ongoing crisis
  • Govt. aims to add 2,800 MWs to National Grid by 2025

By Charumini de Silva

The Government has opened up an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) to develop the renewable energy sector and to expand transmission facilities.

It is the first call for ICB for the year 2023 amidst the ongoing economic crisis, sources told the Daily FT.

The State-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has called for a fresh round of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from global firms to develop ground-mounted solar PV power plants with a total capacity of 70 MW, alternating-current (AC) on Build-Own-Operate(BOO) basis for 11 grid substations countrywide for 20-year operational period.

The 11 substations include Ampara with a capacity limit of 7 MW AC, Anuradhapura 10 MW AC, Galle 8 MW AC, Habarana 6 MW AC, Kosgama 5 MW AC, Kurunegala 6 MW AC, Madampe 6 MW AC, Maho 5 MW AC, Matara 8 MW AC, Pannala 6 MW AC, and Veyangoda 3 MW AC.

The installed capacity of a single plant should be in the range of 1 MW AC to 5 MW AC, the sources revealed.

The move comes amidst, the country’s struggle to find solutions to the ongoing power crisis and many speculate that Sri Lanka will have to resort to long power cuts if the power generation mix is not shifted towards more sustainable methods. 

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera reiterates the CEB would be restructured as part of the Government policy to turnaround SEOs, noting that renewable energy is the way forward.

The prospective proponents should design, finance, procure, construct, commission, operate, and maintain the 70 MW AC Solar PV power plant (ground-mounted) and all associated equipment/services on a BOO basis.

It was also said the procured or leased land required for the project must submit documents registered in the Land Registry as proof with the proposal for consideration.

Prospective firms must also meet the entire cost of grid interconnection of the solar PV power plant, including power transmission line, transformers, protection, and metering equipment and secure all environmental clearances, Government approvals and statutory licenses.

It was also revealed that the prospective international firm should enter into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and contract for the development of a transmission facility with the CEB.

The potential international firms are required to send in their proposals before 13 February, the sources said.

Sri Lanka aims at adding up to 2,800 MW of renewable energy into the National Grid by 2025. At present the renewable energy generation has not exceeded at least 1,000 MWs. 

In August 2022, CEB has called for ICBs to construct a 132 kV transmission facility on a turnkey basis from Siyambalanduwa to Monaragala grid substation. In addition it called for a fresh round of Request for Proposals (RFPs) from global firms to develop a 100 MW AC Solar PV power plant on a BOO basis in Siyambalanduwa for three years.