With the intention of increasing the capacity to meet the ever increasing power needs of the country the first ever solar power park was inaugurated by MP Namal Rajapakse on an invitation by the Minister of power and energy Patali Champika Ranawaka and his deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera, at 10.30 this morning (2011.08.08) in Gonnoruwa, in the Hambantota District.
This Solar Power Plant is expected to add 500 KW of power to the National Grid. It was built with financial aid from the Korean Republic of Rs. 412 Million. With the intention of focusing toward renewable energy sources, this Solar Power Plant will be maintained by the Renewable Energy Authority.
Addressing the gathering at this event Minister Ranawaka stated that With Sri Lanka’s main source of power Hydro power being scarce, the other available method has been thermal power using high cost fuel. Therefore the Ministry of Power and Energy has focused it’s attention on alternate energy sources. Accordingly by establishing this solar power park 2300 KW hours of power can be generated, thus producing eight lakhs, thirty nine thousand five hundred annually. With solar power the cost of producing electricity is reduced greatly while the damage to the environment is also minimized considerably. Annually 200,000 litres of diesel will be saved as well. The Ministry further stated that around 300 tons of carbon emissions from thermal power that is released to the environment will be reduced by solar power.
The minister further stated that he has been able to fulfill the promise he made when he took over the Ministry of Power and Energy to transform the CEB into a profit generating company. Providing electricity for all by the year 2012 is an achievable reality. Currently Hambantota District has achieved 100% electricity coverage. Similarly the target of achieving 100% electricity coverage for the entire country is just at hand. We intend to supply solar Power kits for those living in treacherous areas which are difficult to access through the main power supply channel. Currently we obtain 6% of the power from renewable power sources. He said that measures have been taken to increase this to 20% by the year 2020.
Addressing the gathering District Parliamentarian MP Namal Rajapakse stated that by promoting Solar Power in the Hambantota District it will transform into a beautiful pollution free district. He further pledged an additional 600 acres of land in the future to further expand Solar power generation capabilities.
The Ambasador of the Korean Republic Mr. Choi Jong Moon, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Authority Dr. Kithsiri Dissanayake and several District politicians participated in this event.