The Sitawaka Hydro Power Project

The Sitawaka Hydro Power Project

2019-08-16T11:51:33+00:00August 16th, 2019|Water Energy|

In the Eighties, we sacrificed the verdant Kotmale Valley for a mere 200 MW of Power. The Kotmale Dam does not provide any water for irrigation. That 200MW of power at that time when there were wind turbines that produced an easy 3 MW, could have been produced by 70 wind turbines scattered around Ramboda and the verdant Kotmale valley with its thriving agriculture and a pleasant people would have yet been there. Now there are wind turbines that produce an easy 5 MW. Fifty wind turbines could have been built with a fraction of the money spent on the Kotmale Dam. Imagine the amount of money we wasted in addition to the verdant land and the productive peasantry that was lost forever.

Then it was the Kitulgala Project which is yet being built all to make a mere 35 MW of power That power could be obtained from building ten wind turbines and it would have cost a fraction of what is being spent today.

Today it is the Sitawaka Hydro Power Project to get some 30 MW of power. It will cause immense damage at Dehiowita where land will be inundated. I do not know more of this project but this amount of power can easily be produced by building eight to ten wind turbines within the hilly areas- not at Sitawaka or Dehiowita.

It has so happened that I have lived years in the coastal towns of Hambantota and Matara as well as the hilly districts of Nuwara Eliya and Kandy and have traversed the entire island on endless circuits for over six years. I have been to Mannar and Kalpitiya, the areas that seem to have mesmerized our specialists in the Power Ministry. There is no need to get foreigners down to gauge the power of the wind that we administrators have had to contend with every day.

Why are we yet building wind turbines on the coast ignoring what all authorities in the USA, France, and Spain have been doing for several decades? They build in the mountains, never on the coast. The engineer that did the construction of the wind turbines at Hambantota had commented on one of my Papers detailing that in Sri Lanka building wind turbines is allowed only on the coast and not in the mountains! What a lot of silly people we are cannot be even imagined.

Building wind turbines is not something that cannot be done. The other day I was at Avukana and saw the hood that had been built by our engineers of the State Engineering Department. The hood is supported by long concrete beams. Get those engineers that did that and they will be able to design the structures and blades for a wind turbine in a week. Get a few 5 MW turbines airflow- that too can be done in days. Finding the sites and the construction can be done easily within three months. That was the speed at which my colleagues in the Land Development Department worked in the Fifties and Sixties. I too was involved in building very large stores and we got it done in record time. That was in the Agrarian Services

The Power Ministry need not find electricity from barges for long. Building power lines to get it from India is a far more costly and a long term plan than constructing a few hundred wind turbines. In my travels in the USA, France, and Spain I have seen wind turbines being transported and erected.  We can do it very soon at a fraction of the cost of building unnecessary projects.

My ideas in a Compendium of my Papers on Wind Power is due to be published soon.

For the moment let me quote more details from a Paper written by me last year.

Source : http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/08/11/the-sitawaka-hydro-power-project/