Guyana’s government remains steadfast in its plan to achieve a diverse energy mix with several solar farms and solar mini grids on the cards for construction.
Head of the country’ energy agency, Dr. Mahendra Sharma told OilNOW that three years from now, Guyana will have 14 solar farms and 28 solar mini-grids with an accumulated installed capacity of 39 megawatts (MW).
He was part of an Energy Roundtable Discussion hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (AmCham) on Thursday.
As Guyana looks to cleaner sources of energy, the use of solar power is being pushed to the forefront, under its expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy.
Adding solar power to the mix can be a “great opportunity” for business, Dr. Sharma said during the public discussion, as it provides a low-cost alternative that translates to more savings.
A good demonstration of this is the case of Bartica and Lethem farms which were contracted under the Energy Matrix Diversification and Strengthening of the Department of Energy programme funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Annual savings on fuel costs for 7,500 barrels amounts to GY$279 million at current fuel prices, between the 1.5 MW Bartica farm and the 1.0 MW Lethem farm. And more solar farms are expected to pop up along Guyana’s coastline.
The South American nation can also expect bigger energy projects to come on stream with the start-up of the gas-to-energy project in 2024. That project, coupled with the return of the government’s flagship Amaila Falls hydropower project in 2027 will deliver a combined 410 MW of power to Guyana’s grid to meet its growing demand for electricity.