The Wind Power Generation Project in Sri Lanka is a US$ 200 million ADB – funded project which accordingly aims to provide increased access to clean and reliable power supply by 2025. The project, which falls under the energy sector, is said to address environmentally sustainable growth and inclusive economic growth. A total of 39 wind turbines will be erected in the Mannar District area, located in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The outputs of this investment project are: 1) Wind power generation capacity increased 2) System reactive power management improved and 3) Capacity of CEB in project engineering design review and supervision strengthened. Accordingly, the project will take into consideration environmental aspects, involuntary resettlement, and indigenous peoples affected. The proposed project is categorized A for the Environment and B for involuntary resettlement. Forum member, Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) and the NGO Forum on ADB raised the following concerns to the ADB Board of Directors regarding the proposed project:
1. On the issue of cumulative impacts and bird migration: ADB wrote that a Collision Risk Assessment was conducted from June – March 2016. However local biodiversity experts suggest that birds return flight of mass migration is usually between March – April. This period has not been covered in this assessment. Local bird experts including the Ceylon Bird Club are therefore concerned on the accuracy of findings in the current report on the issue of bird mass migration.
Recommendation: We propose that an independent evaluation to be conducted on the cumulative impacts and specifically the negative impacts on the bird migration in future development ambitions to 300 MW (current 100MW project + future 200 MW addition) in this highly sensitive location.
2. On the issue of turbine shut down: As a migratory measure, it is proposed to have an emergency shut down during the bird migration. However, this may result the generation loss during the shut down, which may bring into question the economic viability of the project.
Recommendation: We propose that ADB should conduct a further study on the cost effectiveness of the turbine shut down option (including the cost on biodiversity loss), which might be the only option if the project will go ahead as it is.
Read CEJ's comments on Mannar Wind Farm EIA
Read ADB's Response on CEJ comments
Read CEJ and NGO Forum on ADB’s Demand for Further Assessment of Impact
Read ADB's Letter of Response
Read Ceylon Bird Club's Letter to ADB