Guyana moves to establish smart grid to support Gas-to-Energy project

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With construction for Guyana’s Gas-to-Energy (GtE) project set to begin this year, the government is moving to put associated infrastructure in place. Among these is the Guyana National Control Centre (GNCC) and smart grid project. For phase 1 of the project, the government is seeking a firm to supply and install a supervisory control and data acquisition – energy management system (SCADA-EMS).

This system is meant for the new Guyana Transmission and Generation Control Centre, one of the two control centres that comprises the GNCC. In addition to the SCADA-EMS, the contractors will have to provide and install telecommunication equipment using optical ground wire fibre optic infrastructure. Government said it plans to apply world class operational practices to the generation fleet, transmission and sub-transmission power lines, substations, and distribution systems.

The government said the facility must be able to support the country’s increasing demand for power that is tied to its growing economy, fueled by expanding oil production offshore.

The goal of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) – Guyana’s main electricity utility – is to supervise, control and manage electricity supply in Guyana with high levels of reliability, stability, and power quality. Guyanese communities have experienced frequent blackouts over the years due to faulty transmission infrastructure. Government has admitted that the Gas-to-Energy project alone will not be enough to solve this problem. The plan to develop the smart grid is stated in the government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy.

In December, the government started procurement for installation services for transmission lines and substations. These are also intended to support the Gas-to-Energy project.  

GtE involves a new 300-megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas turbine power plant to be constructed at Wales, West Bank Demerara. The US-based partnership CH4/Lindsayca will be constructing the power plant in an integrated facility with a natural gas liquids (NGL) plant, at a cost of US$759 million. The construction of the pipeline, to be led by ExxonMobil, is expected to cost approximately US$1.3 billion. Construction on both aspects will commence this year.

GtE is touted as the most transformational project in Guyana’s history.


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