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Asian Development Bank approves $50 million loan to boost rooftop solar in Sri Lanka

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $50 million loan to aid the funding of rooftop solar power generation systems in Sri Lanka, it was announced Wednesday.

The ADB said its Rooftop Solar Power Generation Project would increase access to "clean and reliable power" in the country.

The project would finance rooftop solar power subprojects equivalent to 50 megawatts of additional capacity, the ADB added. It has been approved by the bank's board of directors and is set to cost a total of $59.8 million, with the private sector providing an equity contribution of $9.8 million.

"Sri Lanka's energy sector has made tremendous progress over the last two and a half decades in bringing electricity to almost everyone in the country," Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, a principal energy specialist at the ADB, said in a statement. "But there is a need to diversify the country's energy mix toward more renewable and sustainable sources," he added.

The ADB said it would also administer $1 million in technical assistance from the Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility. This would be used, among other things, to help build capacity and support the implementation of the project in Sri Lanka.

Elsewhere in the renewable energy sector, Siemens Gamesa said it has been mandated to develop the first large, commercial hybrid wind-solar project in India. In an announcement Tuesday, the business said the project would involve a 28.8 megawatt solar facility being connected to an existing 50 megawatt wind farm.

Siemens Gamesa said it would be responsible for the design, engineering and commissioning of the new solar plant, as well as its "hybridization" with the existing wind farm. The project is set to come online by the end of this year, and will be located in the state of Karnataka.