Pondera has just started an extensive assignment commissioned by the World Bank to support the Sri Lankan government on offshore wind. According to the recently published roadmap by the World Bank, the South Asian island nation has great potential for offshore wind development. The initial scouting exercise estimates locational potential of about 27 GW for fixed offshore wind in shallow waters (less than 50 meters depth) and 29 GW for floating offshore wind in deeper waters (50 to 1,000 meters depth). While these numbers are substantial, further research is needed to determine how much of this potential is actually feasible for commercial implementation and which hurdles need to be tackled for successful realization. This is exactly what Pondera will detail out in the coming period.
Together with our local partner RMA Energy, we will further build on the findings and recommendations of the roadmap. Important task is investigating the feasibility of offshore wind in two identified high potential areas of Mannar and Puttalam, by considering environmental, social, technical and economic constraints. We will also deepen existing knowledge about various key factors for offshore wind to de-risk the development. To decision makers we will provide pathways for future development scenarios and recommendations to decision-makers for further steps. This will be done by conducting a comprehensive analyses and working on the following tasks:
- Assessment of constraints for offshore wind;
- Design of prefeasibility level project concepts for commercially scaled offshore wind farms;
- Appraisal and scenario development for required ports and grid connection facilities;
- Assessing commercial risks and bankability issues;
- Proposing mitigation strategies for current data gaps and uncertainties;
- Formulation of scopes of work for subsequent government-led stages;
- Engagement with stakeholders and capacity building for relevant institutions.
The entire study is expected to span for about 10 months. For the implementation, Pondera has partnered up with RMA Energy, a Sri Lankan energy consultancy firm with a long track record and vast in-country network. To successfully kickstart the project, Eric Arends and Joost Starmans recently joined a project team visit to Sri Lanka to meet relevant stakeholders. Part of the visit was also a site visit to the coastal area of Puttalam.
We are very much looking forward to the coming period to help advance the development of offshore wind in the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’!
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