The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) is set to complete the installation of a 1.5 MWp solar photovoltaic park at Dagg Point, Bartica as early as May 2022. The system will be connected to the Guyana Power and Light grid Inc (GPL).
With a spike in fossil fuel prices, residents of the growing “inner doorway” will see an annual reduction of approximately 714,648 liters in diesel consumption. Environmental benefits include 1.5 million kg of avoided carbon dioxide emissions each year.
“This has the potential to reduce the cost of electricity from LPG in terms of the energy they produce on a daily basis.” said Dr Mahender Sharma, chief executive of the GEA.
The installation comes as Guyana recommits to its 2030 Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) in the face of global demand for renewable energy.
According to a recent BBC report“Solar, wind and other clean sources generated 38% of global electricity in 2021. For the first time, wind turbines and solar panels generated 10% of the total.”
The Bartica Solar farm is part of an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project to add 3.75 MWp to four rural/hinterland communities beginning in Lethem and Bartica and ending in Mahdia and Leguan.
CEO Sharma further explained that over the next five years, GEA will “add over 500 MWp of new generation capacity” in Guyana.
The GEA, through its implementing partners Farfan & Mendes Ltd. and SOVENTIX Caribbean, is halfway there, empowering Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) to meet growing energy demand as the two thriving cities recover from the COVID 19 pandemic.
During a tour of the facility, Martin Carto, Farfan & Mendes alternative energy manager and SOVENTIX Caribbean partner, explained that the system is designed with half an hour of peak battery storage and is capable of support the “day and night of electricity” and during power outages. .
He called the Bartica and Lethem solar farms a vital learning experience for the country, being “unique in design” and the “first type of system to be installed in Guyana”.
Having proven themselves in other Caribbean territories, “we look forward to testing in Guyana and demonstrating that these systems have the capability to support local utility networks.” Carto said.
In accordance with LCDS 2030, the small section of forest cleared to accommodate the Bartica PV solar farm will be replanted in a former sandpit in Bartica.