WindForce PLC’s Solar Universe: The First Agrovoltaic Plant in Sri Lanka

WindForce PLC, the leading renewable energy producer in Sri Lanka marks yet again another commemorable milestone with the 10MW agrovoltaic plant, Solar Universe. The plant was commissioned on the 28th of September and was officially opened by Hon. Kanchana Wijesekera, Minister of Power and Energy, Sri Lanka, on the 11th of October 2022.

The construction of this 10MW ground mounted solar power plant started in September of 2021 and was commissioned 10 months after. Being an agrovoltaic plant, Solar Universe is the first of its kind for the company, as well as for Sri Lanka.

Agrovoltaic plants combine the growth of agricultural crops with solar power production, optimizing the use of land to increase its efficiency. Seeing that both solar power plants and agricultural crops need to be located in areas with access to ample levels of sunlight, the concept of agrovoltaic plants caters to the needs of two sectors.

The Solar Universe plant, located in Vavunathivu, will consist of plots of land allocated to local farmers who may tend to the crops they grow and subsequently sell their harvests; paving the way for an additional source of income for them. After considering the climate and soil profile in the area, crops such as peanuts, green chillies, beans, turnips and watermelons are already in the process of being grown. This agrovoltaic plant supports the company’s efforts towards normalizing the use of renewable energy and creating a sustainable environment, and additionally increases food production and creates a livelihood for the local communities.

WindForce PLC holds a 33.33% stake of the new Solar Universe plant, which will additionally increase the company’s solar portfolio to 134.6 MW. The company is simultaneously in the midst of constructing their latest wind power plant, Hiruras Power, in Mannar. This 15MW (10+5) wind power plant is expected to be completed by the end of December 2022. This will increase the company’s wind portfolio to 84.2 MW.

Overall, with the addition of Solar Universe and Hiruras Power, WindForce’s total installed capacity will increase to 245MW by the end of FY22/23 with an effective capacity of 146.5MW.