Over 2,884 residents will benefit from a new 686 kilowatt-peak (kWp) turn-key solar farm in the Mahdia community, in Guyana, when it is commissioned around the end of 2023.
Following an open tender process, the contract for the Mahdia solar PV project was awarded to Standby Power Engineering Company (SPECOM) for the sum of GY$362 million.
A signing ceremony was held in Georgetown on Wednesday.
A 1.7-acre plot has been earmarked for the solar farm, to be secured by 2-metre-high perimeter fencing along with solar-powered perimeter lighting.
Electricity for this community is currently being produced and sold to the residents by Mahdia Power and Light Inc. (MPL) from a 1.5MW diesel generation power plant. Approximately 67% % of MPL’s expenditure is directed to the purchase of fuel which is transported from Georgetown some 200 kilometres (km) away.
At a total PV Capacity of 686.4 kWp, Storage of 1500 kWh and an average peak area load of 375kW, it is anticipated that about 25% fuel saving is likely in the first 5-7 years of operation.
The 0.65 MW Mahdia solar farm is being financed under the Energy Matrix Diversification and Strengthening of the Department of Energy (EMISDE) programme funded by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the Guyana Energy Agency being responsible for project implantation.
This is just one of several solar projects underway around the country. The GEA intends for its solar projects in the next three years to result in the accumulation of 39 MW of solar capacity in Guyana.
Ultimately, these projects are expected to decouple economic growth from using fossil fuels for electricity by developing low-carbon energy resources to meet rapidly rising demand, while keeping emissions low.