Following a series of meetings chaired by Power and Renewable Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake with participation of all stakeholders, the Ministry has taken steps to increase the Net Plus rates for solar energy producers.
To promote solar power generation among end users and minimise delays from the CEB, the Ministry has issued instructions to the licensee to ensure that applications for solar panel installations should be processed within two weeks.
“They have been asked to give the approval within two weeks when the customer applies for concurrence with the CEB, then it has to be given within two weeks’ time,” Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardana told Daily FT.
Further the CEB has also been advised to give connectivity after solar panel installations within two weeks’ time as well. According to Jayawardana the CEB has been told to ensure that connectivity is given without delay after all tests have been carried out.
However, Solar Industries Association (SIA) Secretary Lakmal Fernando lamented that the problematic letter of instructions by one of the CEB Deputy General Managers advising the engineers to not accept applications for solar power projects over 50 kW remained.
Instructions via an internal letter have been given by Deputy General Manager of Western Province North Area to the Chief Engineer to not accept applications for connectivity for projects over 50 kW. According to Jayawardana, the instructions were given to limit the connections as the transformer in the area did not have the capacity to absorb total capacity produced due to high production.
“In some areas there is an issue when a large number of solar producers are feeding into the system during day time when the consumption is low. Here the decision was taken to ensure that the system is balanced,” he said.
Jayawardana assured that the solar energy production programme had not been terminated but said that there were system limitations in the CEB which may restrict connectivity of new producers.