Floating solar panels for clean energy production is considered to be another promising route for Sri Lanka on its journey towards achieving renewable energy targets in view of its vast number of existing natural and man-made water bodies.
As yet another collaborative initiative between Norway and Sri Lanka, the Ambassador to Norway in Sri Lanka, HE Trine Jøranli Eskedal, declared opened the first floating solar power plant on 24 January, 2020 as an introductory step to be used as a floating research lab as well as an information sharing base including being an educational exhibit to encourage and enthuse the native population at large towards transitioning to clean energy. Reflecting the collaborative project work between the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, this first floating solar panel was launched in the premises of the University of Jaffna, Kilinochchi campus.
The 42 kW energy produced by this exhibition plant will partly electrify the university premises in this campus. The project was made possible with the support of Innovation Norway and the Norwegian energy group Equinor. The floating solar plant was designed and developed by Current Solar
AS, a Norwegian solar developer. This particular design is based on Norwegian marine knowhow from offshore and aquaculture industries and innovatively combines the use of composite beams for mounting the solar panels.
On her visit, the Ambassador also inspected the Clean Energy Research Lab at the University of Jaffna which was also assisted by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka to promote research on clean energy technologies.