Hydroelectricity is the oldest source of electricity generation in Sri Lanka, accounting for a massive 48% of the country’s total available grid capacity in December 2013. Sri Lanka is expected to generate 100% of its electricity needs through renewable means by 2025, with the majority of its national grid currently powered by hydropower and thermal heat.
An Important Hydropower Project
The Broadlands Dam (or the Broadlands Hydropower Project, as it is known to its developers) is a massive run-of-the-river hydroelectric complex located in Kitulgala that is currently under construction. With almost all of the island’s hydropower potential having already been put to use, the Broadlands Dam is believed to be Sri Lanka’s last major hydroelectric project, adding 35 megawatts of power to the country’s national grid. Construction of the project officially began in July 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2020. The construction of the project is estimated to have cost approximately 82 million US dollars.
Once finished, it will consist of two dams and a power station. The primary gravity dam is 24 meters in height and measures 114 meters in length and was constructed across the Maskeliya Oya, a major upstream tributary of the Kelani River. Across the nearby Kehelgamu Oya, which is another tributary of the Kelani River, a secondary gravity weir measuring 19 meters in height and 48 meters in length was built.