ADB boosts Sri Lanka wind push

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150m loan to help Sri Lanka develop a transmission network able to deliver power from two 100MW wind farms it says are due to be built by 2020 in the northern part of the country.

The loan, expected to be made in 2016, will help expand the 33kV medium-voltage network to improve distribution of electricity in the region.

The bank is also supporting Sri Lanka's wider energy investment roadmap, including its plan to increase the share of grid power generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar to 20% by 2020, the ADB said in a statment.

Wind development in Sri Lanka’s north is focused on the Mannar region, according to local reports.

The Times in Sri Lanka says the Ministry of Power and Energy has unveiled plans for a 375MW wind complex in the region, overlooking the Mannar Gulf.

Construction would be divided into three segments, with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) setting up a subsidiary to deliver the first 100MW.

150MW will be allocated through a competitive bidding process among local investors, with foreign partnerships of up to 49%, said the newspaper.

The final 125MW of wind will be divided into small blocks of 10MW or less, it was reported.

In 2011/12 the ADB funded a study on the Mannar region. "It is one of the best sites for wind power," it said at the time.