At the cost of $4.7M, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) has installed an additional grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system at its headquarters.
The new system, installed at GEA’s Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg location, is estimated to produce 13,167 kWh of energy annually.
In 2012, with support from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation, GEA installed an 8.46kWp Grid Tie Solar Photovoltaic Demonstration Project at a cost of G$6.9 million which supplied about 20% of the Agency’s electrical energy needs. The new 10KWp additional installation, when combined with the previously installed system, will produce approximately 50% of the annual energy needs of the Agency.
Though Guyana has for many years been using solar PV panels for a number of application, primarily in remote areas, the system installed by GEA was Guyana’s first grid-connected solar photovoltaic net- metering demonstration. It allowed for the promotion of the use of renewable energy in Guyana, improved understanding of grid-connected technologies, and demonstrated the use and application of solar photovoltaic grid-connected technology.
“During a regular business day the grid -connected inverter senses the amount of energy coming from the solar panels, measures the amount of energy being consumed by the building, then takes the difference from the grid,” said Energy Engineer Leon DeSouza who explained how the system works; “On holidays and weekends, when the energy requirement of the building is less than that supplied from the solar panels, the excess energy is fed into the grid. It is also designed to quickly disconnect from the grid if the utility grid goes down.”
The new installation when combined with the one previously installed will result in annual savings of about G$1,599,641. Since the installation of the first system in 2012 and the new system in 2016, the PV systems has resulted in savings of over G$3,100,000. Additionally, it contributed positively to the environment by avoiding the release of more than 31,705 kg carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
GEA remains committed to its vision of ensuring Guyana’s energy security through access to reliable energy that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Hence, the Agency will continue to carry out research into all sources of energy including those presently used in Guyana. These efforts are aimed at securing and encouraging more efficient utilization of energy and sources of energy in the public’s interest. The Agency also seeks to develop and encourage the development and usage of sources of energy other than those currently in use.