Largest Wind Farm Of Sri Lanka To Commence Operations


Sri Lanka will do away  using more than 2,000 million liters of diesel for the next 20 years thanks to the 100MW Mannar Island Wind Power farm `Thambapawanee’ to be declared open on Tuesday (December 8) by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

Power and Energy Minister Dullas Alhaperuma said that within the next 20 years by generating electricity from wind power, which would   also prevent the release of some 5.7 million metric tons of carbon into the environment. He said President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is the first Head of State to include in his State Policy Statement on the Use of Renewable Energy to Uplift the Economy of the Country and as a State Focusing on Energy Conservation, Energy Self-Sufficiency, Sustainability and  Continuity

Minister Alahapperuma said the objective of the government is to provide space for the people to consume energy easily and at a low cost. The Wind Farm in Mannar which will have 30 wind turbines along its coastline has been completed with a MW capacity of 3.45 per each tower. Several key factors have been taken into consideration in the construction of the Thambapavani Wind Power Park in the Mannar District, Minister said adding  that it is 100% eco-friendly.

Minister Alhaperuma stressed: “To prevent environmental damage, radars, which are not normally found in wind farms, have been designed in every windmill, especially for the public in the area, listening to their views by the environmentalists and surveying the impact on the Mannar region, including the transportation of drinking water and solid waste.” The wind power project, which is scheduled to be gifted to the nation on December 8, is expected to release 103 MW of power to the power grid, initially with 30MW. The Minister further stated that the approval of the Cabinet will be obtained to deploy six more turbines with the remaining amount of the total investment of USD 141 million.

CEB Chairman Eng. Vijitha Herath said that the Mannar  plant will generate 400 Giga Watt Hours (400 million kilo watt hour units – kWh) annually, at Rs. 8 per kWh. Vestas Asia Pacific (responsible for engineering, procurement and construction and provide the delivery, installation and commissioning of 30 V126 – 3.45 MW wind turbines, and all civil and electrical work including the final main gravity foundation), along with their specialist civil engineering sub-contractor, Access Engineering PLC (responsible for geo-technical investigations and pilling, the construction of the foundation for the wind turbines and the installation of medium voltage cables), has achieved progress amidst the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chairman said.

Mannar wind farm will be operated as a semi dispatchable power plant supported with advance wind forecasting system to optimize & control the wind generated electricity to the national grid. This is in addition to the bird detection RADAR system to implement selective shut down of wind turbines to avoid bird collisions, if any. Funding required for this wind farm and other associated facilities in Mannar and Anuradhapura has been arranged through a loan provided by Asian Development Bank. The project is also supported with a consultancy service contract with COWI AS of Denmark and Warranty Operations and maintenance contract (WOM contract) for the initial three-year period.

Mannar wind farm will supply more than 380 million units of clean electricity to the national grid annually. Electricity from this project can be generated less than 5.0 US Cents/kWhr. One of the major benefits of this project is its ability to displace large amount of fossil fuel base electricity generation.