Guyana advances clean energy electrification in hinterland communities

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The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) has announced its achievements in clean energy electrification projects across hinterland communities in 2023. 

These include: 

– Electrification with solar home energy systems: GEA spearheaded a project to supply, deliver, and distribute 30,000 solar home energy systems to hinterland and riverine communities. As of December 2023, 26,398 units were distributed. These 160-watt systems are designed to power essential household items and represent a combined total of 4.8 MW installed capacity across all ten administrative regions of Guyana.

– Installation of solar photovoltaic mini-grids: Nineteen solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids were installed across Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten, benefiting an estimated population of 21,674 persons and 3,880 households. The combined capacity of these installations reached 601 kilowatt peak (KWp), impacting 262 public and community buildings.

– Electrification projects in Orealla and Siparuta: GEA installed two additional solar PV mini-grids in the communities of Orealla and Siparuta, Region Six, providing electricity to 23 buildings. 

– Commissioning of the Bartica solar farm: The government commissioned its second mega-scale solar farm, a 1.5 MW utility-scale solar PV plant in Bartica, Region Seven. 

– Expansion of off-grid solar capacity: Over 163 kWp of solar PV capacity and 800 kWh of battery energy storage were installed across 22 off-grid locations, benefiting public and community buildings within 20 communities across eight regions. 

– Introduction of electric vehicle charging stations: The GEA installed six electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Regions Three, Four, and Six. This initiative includes support for local capacity building with training for 50 mechanics and auto-technicians in EV maintenance and repairs.

– Progress on small hydropower projects: The small hydropower projects in Kumu and Moco Moco, Region Nine, are underway, aiming to provide hydroelectricity to Lethem and its environs. The project, which includes constructing a new 1.5 MW Kumu hydropower plant and rehabilitating the Moco Moco plant to 0.7 MW, is 37% complete and slated for completion by 2025.

– Increase in solar PV capacity: The solar PV installed capacity saw an increase of 6.661 megawatts to 14.62 megawatts in 2023, with the addition of the Bartica solar farm, 21 solar mini-grids, 22 solar PV systems at public buildings, and the wide distribution of solar home energy systems.

– 2024 budget approval for future projects: GEA welcomed the 2024 budget approval, which includes allocations for the construction of a new solar farm, completion of existing solar farm projects, the establishment of five new solar PV mini-grids, and the supply and installation of off-grid solar PV systems at 42 locations.

This year, the government will aim to identify a developer for the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, which is expected to be Guyana’s largest clean energy project.

The landmark Gas-to-Energy Project is also expected to advance substantially this year. 

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