Billions approved for Solar, hydro projects  

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Guyana will have about 30 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources, namely solar, wind, and hydro by the end of 2020, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson announced Friday.

Several projects, most of them solar, will be constructed in the three new towns of Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma, along with Mahdia and other interior locations.

The projects will cost billions of dollars and will set Guyana on the path to meeting international commitment to move to 100% renewable energy by 2025, or at least come close to that ambitious target.

For Bartica, a 1.5-megawatt solar farm, with storage, is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of US$3.8 million. The project will commence sometime this year and will last for 18 months.

In addition, a one-megawatt hydro project will be constructed upstream Bartica at a cost of US$5.2 million. The funding is being sourced from the Guyana REDD Investment Fund.

The project is expected to last for two and a half years. Currently, technical assessments and other studies are being conducted.

Solar Farm in Mabaruma (DPI photo0

At Lethem, a one megawatt solar farm with storage will be constructed at a cost of US$2.6 million. This is also being funded through an IDB loan. The project will commence this year and construction time is 18 months.

Further, a 2.2 megawatts dual hydro-system, using the Moco Moco and Kumu Falls, will be constructed. The funding will be sourced through the United Arab Emirates and the GRIFF. The project time is two and a half years.

For Mahdia, a Photovoltaic system costing US$1.8 million will be constructed within 18 months.

Regarding the Tumatumari hydro project, the government is giving the private developers up to the end of July to secure financing and if they are successful there will be a power purchase agreement with the company. If not, the government will take over the 2.2 megawatt project, which is expected to cost US$4.4 million.

A utility-scale four-megawatt photovoltaic system, funded by China, will commence this year for the West Coast Berbice.

For Kato, in Region Nine, funding has been secured to commence the hydro project there.

Minister Patterson said that the long-awaited Hope Beach Wind Farm project is still on the cards and a draft agreement is under consideration.

There are other renewable energy projects slated for Port Kaituma, Kwakwani and Matthews Ridge.

Minister Patterson also announced that a US$15 million line of credit available to Guyana after joining the International Solar Alliance will most likely be utilised for renewable energy projects in hinterland communities.

The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Communities have been tasked with identifying the communities which could benefit from the funding.

The Mabaruma solar farm will become the first to come online. It is expected to be commissioned in August.

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