Caiman Industries, Environmental (CIE) is planning to develop a 5.8 MW solar farm. The project marks what would be the first instance of a private developer embarking on a such a project in Guyana, with all other solar farms built or in development through government-led initiatives. Guyanese developer, Darryl Nq-A-Qui, said CIE is seeking a financing partner for the project, estimated to cost US$10 million.
The project, named the Loo Creek Solar Farm, would be developed on a 40-acre land parcel adjacent to the Soesdyke Linden Highway, about 20 km north of Linden. The solar farm, lying in Region Four on the west side of the highway, will feature a photo voltaic (PV) solar power generation facility.
Once fully operational, the facility would be equipped with solar panels, batteries for energy storage, two diesel generators as backup power, a power inverter, and a site control office. This setup is expected to deliver a maximum of 5.8 MW of uninterrupted electrical power, 24 hours a day, within a 10 km radius. The solar farm also holds the potential to connect to a power grid if one becomes available in the area in the future.
The developer expects this facility to become a cornerstone for local development, as the area currently lacks any power supply from municipalities and is marked for economic development in the future.
Estimates indicate that the plant will provide efficient and eco-friendly power supply for at least two decades. Furthermore, the solar farm can operate as a standalone power generation plant or can seamlessly integrate with an electrical grid if such infrastructure materialises in the future. With feasibility studies complete, CIE has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental authorisation. The development, spanning from land preparation to commissioning, is projected to take approximately 14 months.
On the public front, the government plans to have installed solar capacity of 39 MW, from 14 solar farms and 28 solar mini grids by 2025, as part of the government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
The Loo Creek project may be the first private solar farm, but not the first private renewable energy project. The Hope Wind Farm project, which got its environmental authorisation last year, could be concluded as early as this year. It is a 25.2 MW wind project earmarked for Hope Beach, East Coast Demerara.
The State also plans a 165 MW hydropower project at the remote Amaila Falls, Region Eight. Government has been receiving unsolicited proposals for this project, after talks broke down with the last contractor. Government is expected to issue another request for proposals.