India and Sri Lanka’s joint working committee on the power sector are likely to meet this month to further discuss grid interconnectivity and renewable energy collaboration, Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera told the Economic Times of India.
The two countries have been planning to connect their grid to trade power for almost two decades, and the deliberations picked up pace in the past few years amid green energy ambitions of the countries.
Technical reports are already being discussed with officials of India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Power Grid Corporation of India and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), ET had reported earlier.
“Investment decisions are yet to be made for which we want to appoint consultants. The consultants will be appointed from both sides – a common consulting firm to understand the financial requirements and agree on the investment, and how the investment is going to take place,” he said.
“Discussions will also take place on ongoing projects, especially the solar energy project, where India’s NTPC Ltd is in partnership with the Ceylon Electricity Board. Power purchase agreements on the first phase of the 130-MW power project could be signed soon,” he said.
The Government is assessing the potential the country has in the offshore wind segment after which it will invite an expression of interest, where it wants Indian companies to participate. There are companies that have shown interest, including Indian companies, Wijesekera said.
Feasibility studies for offshore wind energy are on because the potential that Colombo may have would far exceed its requirements and it’s going to be a surplus, he said. “So if you realise that, of course, we’ll have to look at different other models, export energy, maybe in terms of electricity through the power grid, or whether it’s going to be green hydrogen in the future is something yet to be decided,” he said.
Sri Lanka has a target to generate 70% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2030 for which it needs to integrate at least 5,000 MW more into its power grid. The capacity could be solar, wind, or floating solar, the minister said.