Lethem’s one-megawatt solar farm goes on stream
Residents of Lethem, Region Nine, (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) will now have access to more reliable and cleaner energy with the commissioning of a one-megawatt solar farm on Friday.
Minister within the Public Works Ministry Deodat Indar made the disclosure during a press conference at the conclusion of day one of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) 4th Regional Committee Meeting.
The Minister, who also serves as the Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region of the ISA, was joined by Director General of the ISA, Dr. Ajay Mathur and Barbados’ Senior Minister with responsibility for Infrastructural Projects, Dr. William Duguid.
He said that the commissioning of the solar farm will bring the township closer to becoming 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. Located behind the Lethem Power Company, the solar farm will reduce the need for about 3,000 of the 12,000 barrels of diesel annually by the Power Company.
The project falls under the Energy Matrix Diversification and Strengthening of the Department of Energy programme funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Through the Prime Minister’s Office and the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Guyana is embarking on a number of initiatives that will see the country transitioning from the use of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to renewable energy.
In addition to the Lethem solar plant, Minister Indar said mini-hydros totaling 2.230 MW are underway at Moco Moco and Kumu, Region Nine, and Kato in Region Eight.
Other solar farms being established include a 0.65 megawatt at Mahdia, Region Eight and a 0.6 megawatt at Leguan in Region Three. A 400-kilowatt farm has been completed and is operational in Mabaruma.
Further, he noted that plans are on stream for 47.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic programmes. Under this initiative, 30,000 households in the hinterland and riverine communities will be equipped with a total of 150 watts solar panels, batteries, and lighting kits.
This, the minister said will add to the 33-megawatt solar farms that will be established in Regions Two, Six, and 10.
“We have 28 communities, we finish nine and are targeting another 28 communities where we are putting these mini-grids…we also have the energy mix and the Amaila Falls hydro,” he further stated.
These projects are aligned with the expanded Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 which was announced by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in October last year. Consultations are ongoing countrywide on the draft document. [Extracted and modified from DPI]