Solar power program targets 200 MW by 2020 | Sunday Observer

Solar power program targets 200 MW by 2020

Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Country Director, ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Ms. Sri Widowati exchange the agreement.
Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Country Director, ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Ms. Sri Widowati exchange the agreement.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka projects launched by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media to inspire, assist and create a minimum of 100,000 new entrepreneurs has received Rs. 8 billion (USD 50 million) from the Asian Development Bank for rooftop solar power generation.

The loan agreement was signed by Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Country Director, ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Ms. Sri Widowati, at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media last week.

The main objective of this project is to support government’s ‘Battle for Solar Power Program’ to achieve the target of 200 MW by 2020 and 1000 MW by 2025 through solar power generation.

Clean and sustainable power generation will be enhanced through the proposed project by increasing debt facilities and funding for the rooftop solar power generation, developing solar rooftop market infrastructure and bankable sub-project pipeline. It is expected to add 50 MW to the national grid under this project.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka subsidised loan scheme has introduced a donor funded refinance loan scheme to make provisions for rooftop solar power generation project under the aegis of the ADB. Households and the entrepreneurs will be credit facilities up to Rs. 7. 5 million at 8 percent per annum.

The Department of Development Finance of the Ministry of Finance, the Implementing Agency of the project, will coordinate with the selected banks and financial institutions to provide credit facilities to customers to purchase rooftop solar panels from reliable suppliers who have registered under the Sustainable Energy Authority.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company Ltd (LECO) will support will provide technical recommendations to the financial institutions regarding technical proposals of the applicants (customers) and reviewing and approving applications for connection of solar rooftop systems to the distribution network. Customers will benefit financially through one of the systems among net metering, net accounting or net plus as a result of connecting solar electricity generated by this project to the national grid.

The total investment cost of this project is USD 59.8 million of which USD 50 million will be provided by the ADB. Equity contribution by customers for the sub-projects will be USD 9.8 million. 

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