Lethem and Bartica, two of Guyana’s towns, will see significant savings in fuel costs and emissions, with the addition of solar farms there.
Prime Minister, retired Brigadier Mark Phillips visited the more recent construction at Bartica on Tuesday, which is 90% complete and is expected to be handed over to the government on June 1.
The other solar farm, at Lethem, was completed earlier this year.
These projects come under the Energy Matrix Diversification and Strengthening of the Department of Energy programme funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) granted the contract to Farfan & Mendes and SOVENTIX Caribbean S.R.L. in late 2020.
At GY$1.098 billion, the contractor is responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of the plants, including battery energy storage systems. The IDB is also funding transmission lines which will connect the farms to their respective towns.
Between the 1.5 MW Bartica farm and the 1.0 MW Lethem farm, Guyana is expected to save on fuel costs for 7,500 barrels – about GY$279 million annually at current fuel prices.
As Guyana transitions to cleaner and renewable energy sources, there are several other solar farms which will pop up in population centres across the coast. Lethem and its environs are expected to benefit from hydropower plants as well at the Kumu and Moco Moco waterfalls.
Larger energy projects will come into play starting in 2024 when the Gas-to-Power project is commissioned. The Amaila Falls hydropower project should be commissioned in 2027. Construction is expected to begin on both projects later this year and will deliver 410 MW of combined power to Guyana’s grid.
The government plans to deliver more than 500 MW of new power to the grid, to meet Guyana’s growing demand for electricity.
Consultations are currently underway on the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, a national policy guiding Guyana’s sustainable development over the current decade.