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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