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Thambapawani Wind Power Station

The Thambapavani Wind Power Station is a significant renewable energy project located in Mannar, Sri Lanka, aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuel-based power generation for sustainable development. With a total installed capacity of 103.5MW, the wind farm is expected to generate approximately 404 GWh of clean electricity annually for the 20 years of operation. The project was implemented to promote large-scale wind power and meet the Government’s renewable energy policy targets, while reducing carbon emissions.

The project is equipped with Wind Turbines, underground cable network, and dispatch control center with park control facilities, allowing for semi-dispatchable power generation. The wind turbine model is Vestas 126 3.45MW with low noise levels and 62.5m length blades, and also includes a bird collision avoidance system and wind power forecasting facility. The main control and SCADA system is established in the Nadukuda substation, while the administrative building is located adjacent to it.

The project stakeholders include the Ministry of Power, Sri Lanka, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Entura & COWI (Consultants), Vestas (EPC Contractor), and sub-contractors. The project development approach included engaging the general public at all times, complying with best practices, and implementing safeguards to minimize impacts on the environment, biodiversity, and birdlife. The project has contributed to the development of the Mannaar region, capacity building of CEB & private sector employees, and a reduction of 275,000 MT/year in CO2 emissions. Overall, the Mannar Island Wind Power Station serves as a benchmark for large-scale wind power project development in Sri Lanka, both in terms of technology and pricing.

Project Scope:

  • 100MW wind farm to operate on semi dispatchable mode
  • Power collector system with Underground cable network
  • Dispatch control center with park control facilities and integration to the National System Control Center
  • All Associated facilities
  • Access and service roads
  • Bird collision avoidance system
  • Wind power forecasting facility
  • Environmental, social and community commitments

Project Objectives:

  • Understanding operational capabilities of large scale wind power plants in power Grid like Sri Lanka
  • Promoting large scale wind power to meet Government’s renewable energy policy targets
  • Reduce fossil fuel based power generation for economical sustainability
  • Promote energy independence by diversifying generation options
  • Green energy at a substantial cost, for environmental sustainability
  • Benchmarking wind power project development in Sri Lanka, in technology and pricing

Project Stakeholders:

  • Project Monitoring- Ministry of Power, Sri Lanka
  • Executing Agency/Implemeting agency- CEB
  • Financial Assistance- ADB
  • Consultants- Entura & COWI
  • EPC Contractor- Vestas
  • Sub Contractors- Access Engineering (Civil), NTC Logistics (Logistics & Wind turbine erection) & DIMO (Electrical BOP)


  • 12.5 Km land strip along the southern cost of the Mannar island.
  • The main service road along the coast with other access roads  connecting the main service road.
  • Approximately 150ha of land acquired for siting the WTGs and accommodation and other buildings.
  • The administrative building located adjacent to the Nadukuda substation.
  • Main control and SCADA is established in the Nadukuda substation.

Technical Data:

  • Total Installed capacity- 103.5 MW
  • Annual energy- 404 GWh
  • Total Investment-  ADB Loan of USD 135 million
  • Cost per kWh- ~4.00 US Cents (including taxes)
  • CO2 saving –  275,000 MT/year
  • Savings of fossil fuel burning- 100 million liters per year
  • Turbine type: Vestas 126 3.45MW (with low noise level) 3 blade upwind type with 62.5m length blades
  • Hub height: 87m + raised foundation
  • Tower: Conical Steel towers with Marine class protection
  • SCADA: Vestas online SCADA with fully pledged remote control
  • Bird RADAR:       On demand Integrated turbine control with RADAR
  • Foundations: In situ pile foundations with raised pile cap (800mm x 15 Nos)

Key features:

  • 30 Wind Turbines
  • UG Cable Network
  • Access Roads (20km other roads)

Unique features;

  • Wind power forecasting
  • Power dispatch (Semi-dispatchable)
  • Noise mode operation
  • Bird detecting & selective shut down

Tasks accomplished:

  • Site surveying including bathymetric survey – 18 km strip along the coastal area
  • Securing all project related permits/approvals/IEE (within one year)
  • Feasibility study
  • Identifying & acquisition of Lands
  • Securing project financing
  • Bankable project design (accepted by ADB)
  • EIA compliant to best practices
  • Technical specs/tender docs/evaluation & selecting an EPC contractor
  • Project management during construction, testing, commissioning
  • EPC contract awarded in end of 2018
  • Commissioned in May 2021

Project development approach:

  • Engage general public at all times
  • Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) to ensure no net lost to the environment
  • BMP represented by Pradeshiya Saba/ DS Mannar/ MOPE/ DWC/ CCD/ CEA/ Fisheries
  • Compliant to conditions & requirement stipulated in permits & approvals
  • Adhering to best practices during & after project implementation


  • Noise- Low noise operation & Serrations on Blades
  • Close to sensitive area – Done EIA for the project
  • Impact on Birds – Radar base operation (Shut down on demand)
  • Studies on Birds – Additional studies even after 3 year Bird study
  • Safeguard on Environment – 5 year Bio Diversity Management Plan (BMP)


  • Sustainable development of wind power internalizing all cots
  • Generate ~8,000 million units (8,000 GWh) of clean electricity during 20 year period
  • Electricity at an affordable cost ( Less than 4 US Cents per kWh )
  • Stable electricity supply to Mannar region, 20 km of roads development
  • Capacity building of CEB /PVT sector employees
  • Installed capacity 3.45 MW X 30 (103.5 MW)
  • Expected annual average energy 404 GWh
  • Commissioned in 2021
  • CO2 Saving 275,000 MT/Year
  • Main contractors
    • Civil – Access
    • Electromechanical – Vestas
    • Mechanical – Vestas
  • Located 12.5 km west costal of Mannar
  • Tower
    • Hub Height – 87m
    • Width – 3.8m
    • Conical Steel Towers with Marine class protection
    • Foundations: In situ pile foundations with raised pile cap (800mm x 15 Nos)
  • Rotor
    • Rotor diameter – 126m
    • Swept area – 12,469 m2
    • Aerodynamic brake – full blade feathering with 3 pitch cylinders
  • Blade
    • 3 blade upwind type with 62.5m length
    • Max. chord – 4m
    • Max. weight per Blade –  70MT
  • Turbine (VESTAS)
    • Rated Power – 3,450kW
    • Gearbox – two planetary stages and one helical stage
    • Cut-in wind speed – 3m/s
    • Cut-out wind speed – 22,5m/s
    • Re cut-in wind speed – 20m/s