DFCC Bank has banked on the abundant year round sunlight in Sri Lanka to fund the installation of rooftop solar systems on building rooftops, including factories in the country. The Bank has granted term loans of approximately USD5.0 million to “Suryadhanavi”(Pvt) to establish a 11.4 MW rooftop mounted solar power project on rooftops of 14 factories owned by Hidramani Group and Akbar Brothers. Suryadhanavi has entered into agreements with the respective rooftop owners for the use of their roofs with a 10% free shares allotted to them.
The entire project will use around 31,768 solar panels with 185 inverters. Installation of 1 MW would require a minimum roof space of 6,000 square meters. As per the “net plus” tariff system, the total electricity generated from this project will be purchased by the utility firm, i.e., the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for 20 years. The tariff for years 1-7 will be Rs22 per kWh (US$0.12) and for 8-20 years, it will be Rs 15.50 per kWh (US$0.09). The bill for electricity consumption by these factories would be paid to CEB as usual.
This project is innovative as it involves installation of solar roofing by a promoter specializing in renewable energy projects on rooftops of large buildings owned by others. This model will be a major boost to the rooftop solar industry as potential investors can rent space from large rooftop owners such as garment factories that are not interested in making the required investment for a project of this nature.
This project is also aligned with Sri Lanka Government’s “Soorya Bala Sangramaya” (battle for the power of the sun) which aims to effectively harness the abundant solar resources available in the country and for solar energy to play an important role in the electricity generation mix of the country.
This project won a Merit Award as an outstanding achievement in the 2019 ADFIAP Awards under the Environmental Development category.