S.Korea to assist in tapping 3500 MW of hydro electricity

By Ifham Nizam

Plans are underway to tap 3,500 MW of electricity with the help of Pumped Water Storage Technology.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has sought and obtained pledges from the South Korean Government to implement the new power generation scheme.

According to Power and Energy Ministry sources, nine places have been identified for pilot projects which would commence in May.

Deputy Director General of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka Dr. Harsha Wickremasinghe told The Island that the sky was the limit as for the new technology, which however is expensive.

He said Pumped-storage hydro electricity was a type of hydroelectric power generation used by some power plants for load balancing.

Under this technology, low-cost off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps to feed the higher elevation reservoirs during periods of high electricity demand. The stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power.

Although the power incurred in the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are high.

Minister Ranawaka believes that with the rising cost in thermal electricity generation, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) should focus on utilising Pumped-Water Storage Technology for hydropower generation in the country.

The Power and Energy Ministry said that the technology was being utilised in South Korea and Ranawaka, during his visit to the country, had studied it.

The South Korean government has agreed to provide financial and technical assistance as well as equipment to Sri Lanka to implement the Pumped-Water Storage Technology.

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