Solar plant to power Guyana’s Leguan island estimated to cost US$1.8 million

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With financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Guyana plans to build a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, including a battery energy storage system and transmission line, on the island of Leguan in the Essequibo River. 

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) is the executing body for the project and has invited qualified parties to submit bids.

The plant is expected to have a generating capacity of 0.60 MW and a storage capacity of 0.80 MW, with a total project cost of US$1,785,452, according to an IDB project document.

The project has a design life of 20 years and is expected to save more than 800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil fuels as the source of power.

The project aims to address the island’s energy needs while also promoting clean energy use. Presently, electricity there is provided on a 24-hour basis by an isolated grid with an installed capacity of 1.23 MW, owned and operated by the state electricity provider, Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL). The island tends to have issues related to the unreliability of the supply of power. In the medium term, GPL plans to link the Leguan grid to those of nearby islands using a subsea cable.

Leguan’s present source of power is heavy fuel oil (HFO). This project will grant the island renewable energy capacity and help reduce Guyana’s dependence on fossil fuels. 

Dr. Mahendra Sharma, head of Guyana’s Energy Agency, told OilNOW last year that the country plans to build 14 solar farms and 28 solar mini-grids with a combined installed capacity of 39 MW by 2025. Under the same IDB program, called ‘Energy Matrix Diversification and Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Energy’, solar farms in Lethem and Bartica have already been constructed.

Guyana is also expected to have bigger energy projects with the Gas-to-Energy project set to break ground this year for delivery in 2024. That, coupled with the government’s flagship Amaila Falls hydropower project which could come years after, is expected to generate a combined 410 MW of power to meet the country’s growing electricity demand.

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