GPL and the “Green Agenda”
The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) considers itself to be a chief stakeholder in achieving the vision of the Government’s green economy. And according to Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, the entity has actually commenced preparatory steps to position itself to introduce renewable energy from intermittent sources (wind and solar) and non-intermittent (biomass and hydro).
In fact, the Minister said that preparatory steps towards this end have been completed thus far.
In this regard, he cited the establishment of a Grid Code for utility scaled generation above 1.5 megawatts. Patterson said that the Grid Code provides technical specifications, which defines the parameters that any generation facility connected to GPL’s network must meet to ensure safe, secure and economic proper functioning of the GPL system.
He said that the Grid Code was developed by an international and reputable electrical services consulting firm (Siemens). This code the Minister said will become a public document before the end of this year.
Furthermore, Patterson said that GPL benefitted from the services of a Renewable Energy Expert, contracted through an IADB Technical Assistance Programme. This engagement with GPL is expected to position the company to do a number of things.
These include; establishing the technical parameters for the interconnection of distributed generation not exceeding 1.5 megawatts to GPL’s grid, configuration of the company’s base load and firm generation to ensure grid stability in the event of loss in generation from the intermittent renewable resources (mainly solar) and developing ‘Feed in Tariffs’ (FITs) for energy supplied to the grid. Patterson said that these tariffs will require approval by the regulatory body being the Public Utilities Commission.
The politician reminded that it was Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan who had indicated last year that Government will be implementing a series of renewable energy and energy efficient projects, following the charge given by President David Granger for the public Sector to lead the way in transitioning towards greater renewable energy use.
Patterson said that these interactions will be channeled through, and managed by, the Guyana Energy Agency.
He said that the Government has commenced a review and update of Guyana’s National Energy Policy Patterson revealed that while the first phase of the study was completed last year, he said that the second phase will commence in 2017 and will involve extensive stakeholder consultations towards the finalization of the National Energy Policy.
Meanwhile, GEA and the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. are advancing the installation of a 20KW hydropower plant at Hosororo, Region 1, to supply electricity to Mabaruma Power and Light Inc.
The Minister of Public Infrastructure said that GEA’s Hydropower capacity was bolstered last year with the addition of a German resident hydropower specialist, who has since been working on the Kato hydro, and preparing preliminary assessments for a number of other hydro sites in Guyana. GEA is currently reviewing, updating, and preparing tender-ready documents for the 320KW hydropower project at Kato, Region 8.
Additionally, Patterson said that mention has to be made of the $1B allocation for renewable energy and, of this figure, $527M is allocated to GEA. Patterson said that the timely implementation of the capital projects for 2017 will require cogent communication, coordination, planning, implementation and monitoring with the relevant stakeholders.
GEA has already commenced the process of preparing Tender documents for the close to one billion dollars in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects for 2017.
Patterson said, “Beneficiary Ministries and sector Agencies will be advised of GEA’s role in the procurement, implementation, supervision and subsequent transfer of assets via formal communications and follow-up meetings to ensure all parties are aware and in agreement with the designs and intended installations.”
GEA will finalize the 2017 Procurement plan and monitor same to ensure timely delivery of the Capital Projects.