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Under an assignment of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Resource Management Associates (Pvt) Ltd conducted a power system modelling workshop for State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) in Maldives from 07 to 09 January 2024. The main objective of this workshop was to capacity building in power system network modelling using DIgSILENT PowerFactory of STELCO engineers and elevate their confidence in carrying out planning tasks by themselves.
A three-day workshop at STELCO Headquarters Malé provided comprehensive coverage on network planning, a case study about connecting a floating solar PV plant in the network model, and an introduction to dynamic simulation & frequency stability analysis.

Siam City Cement Lanka Limited assigned RMA to assess the viability of implementing a wind power plant at Aruwakkalu Quarry Site, Puttalam, with grid connectivity and the possibility of having a PPA with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). RMA conducted a pre-feasibility study to check the viability of a wind power plant and obtain provisional approvals from the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA).

The study covered analyzing the wind resource data at the site and estimating the Weibull parameters and wind speed frequency distribution; designing the preliminary wind power plant, including the plant capacity, wind turbine specifications, plant layouts, and transmission line routes; financial analysis; and evaluation of the project development plan.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) had taken a very ambitious policy decision to generate 70% of electricity from renewable energy (RE) sources by 2030. As the country’s large hydro potential has already been harnessed, Sri Lanka needs to depend on the next most abundant resources, solar and wind, with mini-hydro and biomass, to achieve this target. As approximately three times more installed power capacity is required from solar and wind plants to obtain the same amount of electricity generated from a conventional thermal generating plant (due to the lower “plant factor” of RE sources), a considerably higher capacity needs to be constructed now to meet the energy demand. This is a very significant challenge to the country in terms of raising required finances and also carrying out power plant implementation on time, in addition to the technical/engineering challenges that the utility engineers are separately planning to face. As the responsibility of developing RE resources and procuring electricity from such sources are in the hands of different institutions, which are operated under different enabling acts, a considerable alignment of all agencies is required to face the challenge. In the context, to achieve the GoSL policy, a very detailed master action plan is required to be prepared upfront, which needs to be meticulously executed and monitored to steer the country.

In this background, as per the request received from Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) assigned RMA provided technical assistance to CEB to develop the first Renewable Energy Development Master Action Plan (REDMAP).

SENOK is planning to construct two 10 MW (AC) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. The two solar PV power plants are planned to be constructed adjacent to each other and will be undertaken as a single development activity. SENOK invited Resource Management Associates (Pvt) Ltd (RMA) to provide services as the Owner’s Engineer, starting from the project development phase up to project commissioning. As the initial step, RMA conducted the feasibility study.

The study independently assessed various technical options proposed by the equipment supplier. Options analyzed include P-Type and N-Type solar PV modules, monofacial and bifacial modules, and fixed axis and tracking mounting structures. All options were modelled in solar PV simulation software to estimate the annual electricity generation. Six interconnection options, including an option provided by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), were analyzed considering the technical feasibility, capital cost and maintenance requirements.

Simulated results and cost data were input into a financial model to identify the options with the highest financial benefits.

SENOK Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd (SENOK) studied the feasibility of constructing and operating a 50 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Aluthwewa area of Monoragala district. As the first step, this pre-feasibility study was carried out on request of SENOK, covering contents required for provisional approval for an on-grid renewable energy project.

RMA assisted State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) to assess medium voltage protection coordination settings of the existing medium voltage network in Malé and Hulhumalé to improve network reliability, and to identify required changes in protection schemes to interconnect the existing network with under construction 132 kV network. Capacity building of STELCO on network modelling was carried out as part of the assignment.

Information such as network configuration, cable sizes and lengths, relay models, current transformer ratios, generator parameters, transformer loadings and generator operating patterns, future expansion plans were obtained from STELCO. The existing 132 kV and 11 kV networks in Malé and Hulhumalé were modelled in detail in DIgSILENT PowerFactory software to obtain fault levels at each ring main unit. Using simulated fault levels and other information, relay settings were calculated for the sectionalizing points proposed by STELCO. A capacity building program on power systems modelling was carried out for STELCO engineers covering introduction to network planning and planning software, steady-state analysis, contingency analysis, short-circuit criteria analysis, and frequency stability analysis.

The PUCSL appointed RMA to conduct a study to determine technical and economic impacts of integration of rooftop solar PV into distribution and transmission networks of Sri Lanka, estimate the short term and long term economic impact to Sri Lanka with different levels of rooftop solar PV integration, recommend how to minimise if any negative economic impacts due to integration of rooftop solar PV in large scale, and direct relevant authorities to establish suitable processes and introduce regulatory tools to optimise integration of rooftop solar PV in the country.