US$83M contract inked for solar farms in Essequibo, Berbice


In a significant move towards a sustainable energy future, the US$83.3 million fund, part of the Guyana/Norway partnership was inked on Tuesday for the installation of solar farms in Regions Two, Five and Six. The project represents a significant milestone in Guyana’s energy transition.

Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh hailed the contract signing on Tuesday as the country’s largest solar installation and energy investment to date, marking a pivotal step towards cleaner and renewable energy sources.

Solar farms will be installed in five locations in the country – Onderneeming and Charity in Region Two and Trafalgar, Prospect and Hampshire in Regions Five and Six. This year, the project is set to install 18MWp of Solar PV farms – 10MWp in Berbice and 8MWp in Essequibo.

“Those are significant additions to our electricity generating capability and they represent a significant step towards our transition to more cleaner and renewable sources of energy,” Dr Singh said as an additional 15MWp is scheduled to be procured later this year.

These installations will not only reduce generation costs and add capacity to the Guyana Power and Light through renewable sources but also empower Guyanese through job training initiatives, including jobs for women and persons with disabilities.

It will include training for 50 women in Solar PV through an 8-month paid apprenticeship.

Additionally, there will be the implementation of two energy apprenticeship programs, providing hands-on experience to 20 Guyanese individuals, including persons living with disabilities. These programs will cover areas such as energy management, financial operations, procurement, and environmental/social safeguards.

The project is a joint venture between Chinese companies SUMEC Complete Equipment and Engineering Co. Ltd and XJ Group Corporation. Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan during her remarks commended Guyana’s commitment to emission reduction and climate security.

“Guyana has ushered into a once in a century development opportunity and China enjoys the advantage of production and technology, so which constitutes complimentary between the two countries,” the Ambassador noted.

According to Ambassador Haiyan, SUMEC is ranked among the top 100 companies in China by Fortune and brings extensive experience in executing similar solar projects across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Chinese diplomat further added that she hoped that developed nations can offer financial support to developing countries in achieving their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enhancing climate security.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mark Phillips during remarks emphasized the importance of transitioning to renewable energy while addressing vulnerabilities to climate change.

“We talk a lot about energy transition, but I want to add one more word, this is an example of just energy transition where we are moving towards greater use of reliable energy but at the same time dealing with the issue of the vulnerable in our society as it pertains to climate change,” the Prime Minister noted.

The project is being administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and will also facilitate a significant advancement in the digitalization of the Essequibo electrical system. This transition will replace manual systems with real-time, automated monitoring and control.

The GUYSOL program is anticipated to prevent 39,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and aligns with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy.

Meanwhile, it was also mentioned that a third solar farm will be installed in Linden, Region Ten and that technical works are currently underway for this location.

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