“Don’t be cheated from false news……..”
(Ministry of Power, Energy and Business Development requests from the public).
Mr. Sulakshana Jayawardena, Information Officer, Ministry of Power, Energy and Business Development emphasizes that “Taking into account the entire programme of Soorya Bala Sangramaya Rs. 16.00 per unit electricity is paid to power plants to get electricity of 01 MW from each. Power is purchased at a cost from Rs. 11.82 to Rs. 12.50 in case of purchasing 10 MW from power plants. This may be reduced when large scale solar parks will be established. Under this project the government paid Rs. 22.00 at the first stage and expected solar power generation systems on the roof tops of the customers and earns an income thereof. Further, to add eco-friendly sources of generation to the system. In the past few days, various parties were making attempts to socialize different false news on Sooryabala Sangramaya through the electronic and printed media and social media. Specially, at this situation I am making this statement to the media make aware electricity consumers of the country on behalf of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Business Development. Soorya Bala Sangramaya implemented on a cabinet approval. In case of any alternation of it, it has to be obtained through a cabinet decision. No change has been made in this project up to now. Still we have not received the report of the committee appointed by CEB. Some parties are making an effort to spread false news that we have stopped the first stage of Soorya Bala Sangramaya. However, this is extremely incorrect news”
Mr. Sulakshana Jayawardena expressed these views when educating the public about the false facts being spread by various parties through electronic and printing media.
Mr. Jayawardena further added that, Soorya Bala Sangramaya consists of four stages. Under this programme number of projects was implemented to improve Renewable Energy and electricity utilizing solar power. Under the first stage any electricity consumer has the opportunity to generate power installing solar power generation systems on their roof tops. Under this programme the consumer is allowed to select Net Metering or Net Plus or Net Accounting at their favour and contribute to the national system. At the outset of this programme in 2016 we expected to contribute 200 Mw to the national power system by 2020. Now we are reaching our target. By this moment, we have already designed a plan to obtain 800 Mw more to the system and increase the power generation of Soorya Bala Sangramaya up to 1000Mw. The government implemented various projects under this programmes. Specially, to grant loans under Asian Development Bank funds and formulate of rules and regulations to take measures on securing the quality of equipment of the institutes where solar power will be provided. All these measures were taken to become successful in the first stage of Soorya Bala Sangramaya. Under the second stage , it is procurement is in progress to include 300 projects of 01 Mw in each to the system and tenders have already been awarded more than 126 Mw by now. Further, procurement procedure has been and competitive bidding is in progress to obtain a capacity of 150 Mw to the system. In addition, actions are being taken to include 05 power plants of 10Mw in each to the system and solar power parks will be established under the fourth stage. Areas such as Poonareen and Siyambalanduwa have been selected to implement this. Floating solar power plants will be established in particular. Maduru Oya has been selected to for this.
He said that “Under the first stage of Soorya Bala Sangramaya, Rs. 22.00 will be paid per each unit during the first 07 years for the solar power plants that will be installed on the roof tops of houses. An amount of Rs. 15. 50 will be paid per each unit. During the next 8-20 years. We came to an agreement in this regard at the commencement of the project to review on the shortcomings and progress of the project. However, this review was not conducted after reaching the target of 100 Mw. The government had decided to conduct the review after including 200 Mw to the system. At the review it is clear that when purchasing a unit of electricity under Net Metering method the cost is around Rs. 45.00. The cost per unit of the other two methods is around Rs. 22.00. A committee has been appointed to look into the incompliance among these methods. Examinations of this committee are in progress”.
At a discussion held at the Ministry recently with the participation of Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Power, Energy and Business Development, Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda, Secretary to the Ministry, Solar Power Suppliers’ Association, officers of CEB and the Renewable Energy Authority price revision was taken into consideration. Solar Power Suppliers’ Association was not against this price revision and every one gave concurrence in this regard. However, this Ministry emphasizes that nothing will be changed of the project until the report of the committee appointed to look into progress and shortcomings of this project will be received.
Expressing views at the event, Mr. Ronald Comester, Deputy General Manager (Research & Development) pointed out that a committee has been appointed to inspect the Solar Power Systems to be installed on the roof tops of the houses and he is the Chairman of it. He added that a discussion was held at the Ministry recently with Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister In-Charge, Solar Power Suppliers’ Association and Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda- Secretary to the Ministry and several proposals were made therein on the prices of Solar Power and a decision is yet to be made in this regard. He stated that the news of stoppage of the first stage of Soorya Bala Sangramaya is false.
Mr. M.R. Rathnayaka, Additional General Manager, CEB stated that encouraging the household electricity consumers towards Soorya Bala Sangramaya highly required. Even though the cost for a unit of solar electricity is Rs. 20.00, we obtain around Rs. 16.00 from consumers. We proposed to pay an amount more than that to the solar power manufacturers. It has not been approved at the Ministry or the Parliament yet and still they are at the level of proposals.
Soorya Bala Sangramaya was commenced in 2016 based on a government policy with the initiative of giving opportunity for the electricity consumers to generate power at their homes through the Solar Power Generation Units to be installed at their roof tops. However, it has been agreed to review the programme at the inclusion of 100Mw capacity to the national electricity system. Particularly, it has been proposed to continue the programme successfully and to look into the impact on the financial status of CEB and the technical condition of the system. A reasonable price has to be paid when purchasing electricity under Soorya Bala Sangramaya. However, general public may be misled the false news set to be spread by some parties on the proposals made when reviewing in this regard. Electricity consumers have not been deprived of the facility of generating electricity using solar energy and the Ministry of Power, Energy and Business Development will take action to purchase such generated solar power at a reasonable price.
Under Soorya Bala Sangarmaya Programme, the government has obtained a loan of USD 50 Mn from the Asian Development Bank to distribute among electricity consumers as a relief loan in view of encouraging them to take part in this project and required standards have been introduced to the Solar Power Generation System suppliers to provide a quality service. Due to the challenges in respect of power faced by Sri Lanka it has been planned to connect two power ships to fulfill the urgent electricity requirement and some parting are continuously spreading false news connecting this purchase of power to the solar power generation.
No action has been taken to change the method of implementation of Soorya Bala Sangramaya Programme and Hon. Ravi Karunanayake , the Minister In-Charge has requested the general public to get cheated considering the false information spread by some parties. Further, the Minister emphasized that government is taking measures to meet future targets of electricity through renewable energy resources and to ensure power security by developing power and energy sources.