Sri Lanka’s Offshore Wind Roadmap Due Next Year, Gulf of Mannar Identified for First Project

The Offshore Wind Development Roadmap for Sri Lanka is being finalised and will be published in the new year, according to latest information from the World Bank, which found that an area in the Gulf of Mannar was the most suitable for the country’s first offshore wind project.

“Sri Lanka has an offshore wind resource that far exceeds its energy demand and it could help to meet the country’s target of 70% RE by 2030. It could also aid the country’s economic recovery by displacing costly fuel imports”, Mark Leybourne, Offshore Wind Program Lead at the World Bank, said via social media.

Back in 2019, the World Bank found that a total technical offshore wind potential in eight emerging markets, including Sri Lanka, was approximately 3.1 TW. Sri Lanka’s technical potential is estimated to be 92 GW, of which 55 GW is for bottom-fixed and 37 GW for floating technology.

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The work has now gotten more specific as the World Bank, together with industry partners and partners from Sri Lanka, is zooming in on the country’s potential for the first projects, from offshore wind resource to policy and supply chain.

The current findings in the yet-to-be-published Offshore Wind Development Roadmap include three broad areas suitable for development of bottom-fixed offshore wind, with these further narrowed down to the area most suitable for the country to build its first offshore wind farm.

The area that would accommodate Sri Lanka’s demonstration or first project is a site to the north-east in the Gulf of Mannar, where a 252 MW project could be built, assuming the wind turbines to be used would each have 12 MW of capacity.

This area is to the north of the Port of Colombo, one of the two ports the World Bank considers would need the least amount of significant upgrades to support offshore wind development.

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Photo: Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: Ørsted