The solar panels installed along the Sinamalé Highway, under the Accelerating Sustainable Private Investment in Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) Project, generate up to 4.8 Megawatts of electricity a day, the Environment Ministry has said.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim revealed that the panels along the highway are now connected to the State Electric Company (STELCO) power grid.

“If it is a sunny day, we are generating 4.5 to 4.8 Megawatts of electricity,” he said.

The system is currently in use, but the administration wants the panels to be removed from the highway and relocated elsewhere, he said, adding that discussions are underway with the World Bank, which funded the project, and Thailand’s Ensys Co Ltd, which was the project contractor.

It will cost an estimated MVR 170 million to remove and relocate the solar panels, according to the Environment Ministry.

The total cost of the ASPIRE project was US$11 million (MVR 169 million). The electricity generated under the project is sold to Stelco at 10.09 US cents per unit; the equivalent of MVR 1.68.