Solar energy in Sri Lanka is one of the most suited forms due to its abundance of sunlight, as we are located closer to the equator. Solar power is the key to a future of clean and affordable energy. Every day, the sun gives off far more energy than we need to power everything on earth. Solar panels produce electricity by transforming the energy of sunlight to electricity. Therefore, no fossil fuels are burnt to generate electricity resulting in zero harmful emissions being released into the air when electricity is produced by solar panels.

Hayleys Fentons leads the Engineering Solutions sector of Sri Lanka’s most diversified conglomerate, the Hayleys Group. Hayleys Solar has made a remarkable contribution through its renewable energy division, especially within the prevailing energy crisis – and today has achieved 125MW of installed rooftop solar power capacity.

Hasith Prematillake – the Managing Director of Fentons Limited says “Hayleys Solar is today Sri Lanka’s largest solar-based EPC contractor. We are committed to providing cleaner, affordable energy solutions to Sri Lanka. Having overcome many challenges in our growth journey, we are elated to celebrate 125MW of Solar Installations – 20% of the country’s rooftop solar capacity and largest to be installed across the island by any single entity.”

“With the crossing of this milestone, we have decided to provide a very attractive offer to our valued customers. We offer a 100% discount on our Energynet battery backup system – meaning customers can get it absolutely free of charge – plus 25% off on Solar Installations regardless of the capacity of the system they wish to purchase.”

“Backed by the expertise, governance and network of the Hayleys Group, we have been able to walk the extra mile, providing solutions locally and internationally to our valued customers. We appreciate the leadership and confidence provided to us by the Chairman and Chief Executive of Hayleys, Mr. Mohan Pandithage, our Executive Director Mr. Sarath Ganegoda,” said Hasith.

“Thanks to the trust and support of corporations and domestic consumers alike, we have been able to reach this milestone. We’re grateful to our existing clients for their positive word of mouth, and continuing to partner with us in seeking new solutions and upgrades, coming on board with us to set up net zero carbon initiatives. As a company with over 100 years of expertise behind us, we are geared to look forward, to innovate and support the country’s future requirements of clean and affordable energy solutions.”

Roshane Perera, Director/CEO of Hayleys Solar added, “We have enjoyed a deep level of collaboration with all our valued stakeholders. Financial institution partners have supported our journey by promoting the financing of solar power generation, energy efficiency and green building solutions. Our Principals have enabled us to retain the highest quality and service delivery standards through provision of world-class products, solar panels, inverters, batteries and aluminium structures,” added.

“Our highly skilled 400 strong team of expert engineers and project management teams, have helped Hayleys Solar shoot forward to become trendsetters as a solar energy solutions provider.”

“We provide as much exposure and training as we can to our team who actively find ways to adapt the latest technological developments to suit the needs of the Sri Lankan market. We also actively encourage all members of staff to pitch suggestions and ideas to help develop new ideas that take us forward, rewarding them in the process as well,” mentioned Roshane.

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Hayleys Solar has helped bring sustainability and affordability to the electricity supply in Sri Lanka, now crossing 125MW rooftop solar power capacity amounting to 20% of the nation’s rooftop capacity.

Hayleys Solar, the renewable energy arm of Fentons Ltd, is the number one solar provider in Sri Lanka. Its Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Roshane Perera recently sat down with the Sunday Times to discuss this milestone, the way forward and the renewable energy industry in Sri Lanka.

1. Could you give us a brief outline of Hayleys Solar and its journey to become the No. 01 Solar provider in Sri Lanka?

Ever since our entry into the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry in 2011, Hayleys Solar has been at the forefront of the nation’s renewable energy initiative, and today is credited for supplying approximately 125MW of the total capacity of 630MW rooftop solar power installed in Sri Lanka. Today we hold the largest market share as the undisputed market leader in the country and are committed to improving industrial operational continuity and standards of living for our citizens.

The Hayleys Fentons team consists of more than 250 young and dynamic engineers, with over 50 engineers working for Hayleys Solar alone. With their knowledge base and capacity, we are constantly on the lookout to innovate and apply the latest developments in the field.

2. As a company how have you been able to address and overcome current challenges especially in the crisis context in the country?

We experienced several major challenges in importing materials and rapidly inflating costs. In this context, we used the existing technology of coupling solar panel systems with batteries for off-grid solutions. The batteries we use are of the latest lithium-based technology, bringing longer lifetime and zero maintenance requirement. This strategy helps consumers evade power interruptions. Cabinet approval has been granted recently for the eagerly awaited tariff revision which is a positive step towards overcoming the current challenges, however, the rates could have been better.

3. Give us a brief of the products and services of Hayleys Solar

Standard solar solutions – Partnering with leading tier-1 solar panel manufacturers, Hayleys Solar systems are fitted with durable and the most efficient solar panels available in the market. We have selected the best-in-class inverter manufacturers and balance of systems suppliers to ensure the highest quality and reliability.

Solutions for power outages – A key disadvantage of on-grid solar solutions is that the solar system automatically switches off when there is a power cut, wasting solar energy that could be generated during the day. The “Energynet” by Hayleys Solar which is an off grid / hybrid solar PV system with battery backup, mitigates this drawback by enabling solar energy to be utilised even during a power outage.

Photovoltaic Diesel Generators (PV-DG) synchronization – Hayleys Solar introduced the fuel-saving PV-DG solution to businesses that had already invested in solar rooftops but continued to face the challenges of increased diesel requirements for generators. It is estimated that this ‘PV-DG’ system will save businesses over LKR 150.00 per kWh as per the latest fuel prices and will help to significantly reduce and optimize fuel usage at a national level.

Hayleys Solar also offers comprehensive Solar Panel installation services, and after- sale and maintenance services.

4. What are the next steps and developments we might see in the renewable energy sector of Sri Lanka? Tell us about the plans of Hayley’s Solar for the way forward.

In my opinion, major hydropower is almost fully harnessed in Sri Lanka in terms of renewable energy sources. Therefore, new developments will be seen primarily in solar and wind. With recent changes to the electricity act, investors can develop up to 10MW of renewable energy power plants without experiencing any delays through tender processes.

We see a global trend of Ground Mounted Solar Plants building momentum, where 3 acres of land can be utilized to generate 1MW of electricity. However, with the limited availability of land in Sri Lanka, we are looking at “Floating Solar Solutions”.

Floating Solar is a proven technology where Sri Lanka can utilize the massive area of our reservoirs. With floating solar solutions, the existing reservoirs can now support the generation of electricity. Pumped hydro storage tech can be powered by Solar Power to cover up the deficit in the night peak requirement of the nation. We are also looking at incorporating large-scale battery systems into our projects.

We are constantly on the lookout to innovate and apply these exciting developments in the field of renewable energy in Sri Lanka.

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Roof mounted panels to offset electricity usage by 25%

In an unprecedented move to ensure continued sustainable business operations, Hemas Holdings PLC has initiated a greater utilisation of renewable energy as a part of its Group Environmental Agenda 2030.

The diversified corporate initiated this process to install several roof-mounted solar PV systems from Hayleys Solar, the renewable energy arm of Fentons Ltd at strategic locations where the Group’s significant operations take place. Once fully functional, Hemas Holdings’ usage of solar energy will offset the electricity usage by 25%, ensuring that its operations will have a minimized impact on the environment.

In addition to reducing the Group’s atmospheric carbon footprint and minimising ozone depletion, adopting alternative energy sources has prepared Hemas Holdings to face eventual fossil fuel shortages.

Hemas Holdings is hopeful to utilise its position as a changemaker to inspire other corporates to switch to renewable energy sources as well, so that collectively, sustainable business will become the new normal, minimising the entire environmental impact on Sri Lanka as a whole.

Through its environmental agenda, Hemas has pledged to work towards raising awareness and championing advocacy through partnerships to safeguard the environment, actively pursue the use of natural resources in a responsible manner, limit the impact of operations and reduce the use of plastics that are harmful to the environment.

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In continuing its efforts to transition more corporates to clean, affordable energy, Hayleys Fentons recently signed an agreement with Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd. & Maliban Dairy and Agri Products (Pvt) Ltd to install rooftop solar PV systems across its key operations.

A 240kW (288.90 kWp) Grid Tied rooftop solar PV system will be installed at the Maliban Store located in Ratmalana and a 330kW (373.68 kWp) Grid Tied rooftop solar PV system at the Maliban manufacturing plant in Thalakiriyagama, Galewela. The solar PV systems will be installed by Hayleys Solar, the renewable energy arm of Hayleys Fentons.

The agreement was signed on behalf of Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd by Ms. Kumudika Fernando, Managing Director of the Maliban Group of Companies and Mr. Shanaka Wickramapala, Director of Maliban Group of Companies. Mr. Hasith Prematillake, Managing Director and Mr. Roshane Perera, Director & Chief Executive Officer of Hayleys Solar signed the agreement on behalf of Fentons Ltd.

“We continue our purpose-led focus on driving the transition to clean energy, which will support Sri Lanka in achieving its priorities of generating affordable electricity and enhancing energy security. We are pleased to partner with Maliban Biscuit Manufactories to support them to navigate the prevailing energy crisis and ensure continuity of their production and operations,” Mr. Prematillake commented.

Ms. Fernando stated, “Today, despite facing many challenges brought about by the current economic crisis, we have successfully progressed with our targets of renewable energy in order to contribute to the country’s target and to reduce our carbon footprint. With the expertise and service excellence Hayleys Solar possess in the field of renewable energy, we look forward to a seamless transition to solar.

” Mr. Perera, also shared his thoughts. “Businesses today are facing daily power cuts, tariff revisions and related financial and continuity challenges. As a leader in renewable energy solutions, the team at Hayleys Solar has been swiftly moving ahead on a large pipeline of projects, working across commercial, industrial and residential requirements to build energy resilience.

” Maliban is Sri Lanka’s pioneering biscuit manufacturer with a history spanning over 60years. Today, Maliban Manufactories (Pvt) Ltd. stands as one of the nation’s most trusted and respected brands, with a wide range of products sold at over 100,000 stores around the island. Globally, Maliban reaches over 35 countries across 5 continents. The Maliban Manufacturing plant produces 25 million packs of biscuits every month under stringent hygienic guidelines.

Maliban is also an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, and OHSAS 18001 certified company, and is managed by a highly skilled team of professionals who oversee several key disciplines. Hayleys Solar predominantly focuses on Solar PV installations for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes as well as utility-scale projects to enable greater utilisation of clean energy locally. Hayleys Solar has successfully completed over 100MW of solar installations island wide making it Sri Lanka’s undisputed leader in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction(EPC). Hayleys Fentons is also an ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 50001 certified company.

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Fuelling transition to renewable energy through sustainable financing facilities

SDB bank is one of the key players in Sri Lanka’s SME banking space, and one that is proactively seeking opportunities to promote sustainable solutions to overcome the nation’s present crisis through renewable energy and energy efficiency. In this endeavor, SDB bank has recently disbursed a multimillion-rupee financing facility to Hayleys Fentons, one of Sri Lanka’s leading engineering solutions providers.

The facility provided by SDB bank has helped Hayleys Fentons to install a total of 3MW of rooftop solar photovoltaic power generation arrays and systems on two industrial buildings in Colombo (1,854kWp system) and Kandy (1,200kWp system). Together, these two systems will generate approximately 4,235,898 kWh of renewable energy each year. This investment, financed by SDB bank, will lead to an annual emission reduction of approximately 3,136 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is equivalent to taking 700 fossil fuel-powered vehicles off the roads each year.

The loan disbursement was made at a special ceremony with the participation of senior officials from both organizations, including Acting CEO of SDB bank, Niranjan Thangarajah, Head of Business Banking – Hemal Lokugeegana, Managing Director of Hayleys Fentons, Hasith Prematillake and Director/CEO of Hayleys Solar, Roshane Perera.

Hayleys Solar, the renewable energy arm of Fentons Ltd, part of the Hayleys Group, predominantly focuses on Solar PV installations for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes as well as utility-scale projects to enable greater utilisation of clean energy locally.  Hayleys Solar has successfully completed over 85MW of solar installations island wide making it Sri Lanka’s undisputed leader in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC).

SDB bank partnered with Hayleys Fentons in August 2021 to promote the financing of solar power generation, energy efficiency and green building solutions, which are among the portfolio of services offered by the Company. SDB bank is now anticipating a significant increase in the number of businesses looking to transition to renewables. These customers can benefit from SDB bank’s Solar Loans proposition.

As the only publicly listed, specialized development bank in Sri Lanka and as a founding member of the Sri Lanka Banks Association’s Sustainable Banking Initiative, SDB bank is looking to play a pivotal role in advancing the Sustainable Finance Roadmap that has been declared by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, including attracting blended finance solutions to fuel Sri Lanka’s sustainable recovery. The Bank also maintains strong internal standards with regard to ESG, including a Board Subcommittee on Sustainability that has been reviewing the Bank’s performance over the past year, as SDB bank reaches out to proactively engage with stakeholders and provide Sri Lankan SMEs and corporations with access to international climate finance.

Attesting to SDB bank’s commitment to sustainable energy, the bank has initiated a programme to install solar PV power generation systems at 4 of its branches during FY2022, as part of the Bank’s integrated 3-year corporate strategy, which targets achievements for financing renewables and supporting energy efficiency for customers as well as the Bank, with SDB bank looking to source as much of its own energy as possible from renewable sources.  SDB bank is pleased to be contributing towards achieving Sri Lanka’s ambition of sourcing 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The Bank is also working to partner with corporations and governmental and non-governmental organizations to achieve this goal of national importance.

   

Hayleys Solar, the renewable energy arm of Hayleys Fentons recently partnered with Crystal Martin Ceylon (Private) Limited, a leading apparel manufacturer, to embark on a major solar installation project that supports their renewable energy efforts.

The project, which is part of Crystal International Group Limited’s 5-year sustainability targets, aims to reduce carbon footprint, achieve zero emissions and contribute to the national cause of energy saving as the country grapples with fuel and energy crises.

Hayleys Solar will install over 3,700 rooftop solar panels for Crystal Martin Ceylon (Private) Limited across three factories in Malwattha, Dambulla and Kantale. Spanning a total of 11,809.20 square meters, the solar installation will contribute to a total power generation capacity of 2,062.83 Kilowatts, equivalent to 85% of the annual electricity requirement at the three factories.

With annual total power generation expected from the solar installation estimated at 2,861,138.28 Kilowatt hours, Crystal Martin Ceylon will be able to reduce their CO2 footprint annually by 2,118,386.78 Kg, according to the latest grid emission factors published by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.

This project is due to be completed and commissioned with the help of the Ceylon Electricity Board by December 2022 with its next phase covering three more plants to be completed by 2023.

Mr. Mark Muller, Country Manager of Crystal Martin Ceylon (Private) Limited said “We are happy to partner with Hayleys Solar in this key project that helps to streamline our operations at six manufacturing facilities. We expect to fully convert our facilities to solar as an alternative to the energy crisis. As a socially responsible company that prioritizes sustainability, we eagerly look forward to this project and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.”

This solar installation project also aligns with Crystal Martin Ceylon Group’s efforts to comply with the SBTI corporate net zero standard which is a globally accepted standard that provides guidance and tools for corporates to set up net zero carbon initiatives.  On its way to achieve net zero carbon, this project will help Crystal Martin Ceylon to offset CO2 emissions making it equivalent to 60,525.34 trees, creating a huge foreign currency saving for the country by not burning fossil fuels for the generation of electricity.

Mr Hasith Prematillake, Managing Director of Fentons Ltd. said, “We are committed to catering to the country’s solar needs and contributing to the national cause of saving energy during these challenging times. We look forward to continuing to contribute in meaningful ways to support industries to transition to renewable energy in the near future.”

Commenting on the ongoing project, Mr. Roshane Perera, Director & Chief Executive Officer of Hayleys Solar said, “We are proud that Crystal Martin Ceylon (Private) Limited chose us as their go-to partner for such a big renewable energy project. Hayleys Solar is well equipped to fulfill the country’s solar needs with our potential to undertake large-scale solar projects. Together, our team of over 200 qualified engineers and the high quality of products and equipment we offer define us as the undisputed market leader of renewable energy solutions in Sri Lanka.”

Hayleys Solar, the specialised renewable energy solutions arm of Fentons Ltd., recently introduced a state-of-the-art ‘PV–DG’ solution to the local business sector to help effectively utilize solar energy and minimize fuel costs. The fuel-saving system is specifically meant for businesses that have invested in solar rooftops but continue to face the challenges of increased diesel requirements for generators, amidst today’s drastic shortage and the price hikes.

It is designed to synchronize the solar PV systems with Diesel Generators with the help of a priority controller which can save up to 70% fuel costs depending on the loading of the generator. As the cost incurred for fuel continues to rise, it is estimated that this ‘PV-DG’ system will save businesses over LKR 152.00 per kWh as per the latest fuel prices and will help to significantly reduce and optimize fuel usage at a national level.

A key drawback of on-grid solar solutions is that the solar power system automatically switches off during a power cut, wasting the solar energy that could be generated during that period. Ensuring maximum utilisation of the power generated by the solar system during the power cuts without the use of a battery, the ‘PV-DG’ solution is perfectly designed to assist businesses to combat these energy and fuel-related challenges. The ‘PV-DG’ solution can be conveniently extended across most commercially available inverter brands.

Mr. Hasith Prematillake, Managing Director of Fentons Ltd., shared his thoughts on this latest solution. “As the power and fuel crisis in the country continues to prevail, it is imperative that we bring alternate, renewable energy solutions to businesses, helping to keep industries afloat and reduce dependency on diesel. As a responsible organisation with a focus on offering efficient energy solutions to our valued clientele, we introduced this ‘PV–DG’ solution to help businesses navigate this deepening energy and fuel crisis, sustaining their operations and productivity without hindrance.”

Backed by a thorough data monitoring via the cloud which enables remote monitoring to control the system, this ‘PV-DG’ solution controls the inverter output of the solar PV system. Engineered according to the latest German technology, the controllers are manufactured by a company which has successfully completed numerous high-end projects worldwide. The controller also features protection against reverse power which is crucial for the synchronization of a system of this nature.

Mr. Roshane Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Hayleys Solar also commented on this latest introduction. “In the current crisis situation, this ‘PV-DG’ solution will help the local businesses with solar rooftops to sustain their operations effectively, as the constant power outages greatly impact the cost of electricity generation as well as the production of the solar-powered system. As the market leader of renewable energy solutions in Sri Lanka, we are committed to providing customized solutions that assist our valued customers during these difficult times and in the future.”

With over a decade of market excellence, Hayleys Solar has successfully completed over 75MW of solar installations island wide making it the undisputed leader in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) companies in Sri Lanka. Hayleys Fentons is driven by a dynamic, energetic, and young team of over 200 BSc. qualified engineers, assuring due diligence and the highest quality standards.

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