Commemorating D. J. Wimalasurendra – Father of hydro power
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A message from the Minister of Power and Energy

This is the beginning of the second decade of the third millennium. At present 50% of power generation capacity and 40% of annual electricity generation in Sri Lanka comes from hydro power. The balance is generated from oil fired thermal power plants. The generation cost of a unit of electricity from Laksapana hydro complex is Rs. 0.90 and from Mahawali hydro complex is Rs. 2.30. On the other hand the average unit cost of oil fired thermal power plants is about Rs. 20. If we were to generate electricity from imported fossil fuels then the electricity consumers in Sri Lanka have to pay additional Rs. 7.50 for each a unit of electricity consumed. If so electricity would become a prohibitively expensive service for over 75% of the people living in Sri Lanka.

Electricity is a basic need of the modern day human. The Government of Sri Lanka is in a position to satisfy this basic need at an affordable price mainly due to 40 years untiring effort of a person who lived during the first half of 20th century. This person is none other than Mr. D. J. Wimalasurendra, who is the father of hydro power in Sri Lanka.

He started by demonstrating the technical option that he believed in. He initiated the first mini hydro power plant in Sri Lanka in 1912 at Black Pool, utilizing the excess water from the Gregory Lake, Nuwara Eliya. In 1918, Wimalasurendra delivered a key note address to the Engineering Association of Ceylon, entitled