Georgetown, May 15 2017:

As part of its mandate to develop and encourage the development and utilisation of sources of energy, other than sources presently in use, Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Engineers with assistance from GIZ/REETA have completed the feasibility study, design and bid documents for redevelopment of a defunct micro hydropower plant at Hosororo.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To increase the energy mix of the Mabaruma electrical grid with a clean and renewable source of energy.
  • To gain experience in applying hydropower engineering and other multi-disciplinary concepts for sustainable rural electrification;
  • To gain understanding of run-of-the-river hydro technology;
  • Promote and increase the use of renewable energy in Guyana.

The Hosororo site is situated at the Hosororo Creek about 4.6 km bees flight to the south-west of Mabaruma, Region 1, in the north of Guyana.  In 1985, a study done by Terrence Fletcher and Associates Limited studied the option to install a hydropower plant at the creek and supply electricity to an agricultural produce processing facility to be built nearby. In the late 1980’s, a powerhouse with a turbine of reportedly 5 kW capacity was installed using the upper of two existing concrete weirs. The project was abandoned some years after its inauguration for reasons that are still unclear.

3D Drawing of Weir for Hosororo Micr Hydro Plant

The Mabaruma Power and Light Company Inc. currently supplies power to about 735 households with generators supplying about 400kW peak load. The Hinterland Electrification Company Inc (HECI) is in the process of procuring and installing a 400kW solar photovoltaic farm. The hydropower plant will only be supplying about 20kW towards meeting the demand of the community. The plant, conceptualised by GEA’s Engineers, will entail the construction of a 20kW run-of-the-river type micro hydropower plant inclusive of weir/intake, penstock and power house.  Electricity from the new plant will be fed directly to the distribution network of the local power utility MPLCI and will provide about 8% of the annual energy demand of 735MWh. The power system incorporating diesel, solar and hydro would be the first hybrid system of such diversity providing energy in Guyana. The computed Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) was USD 0.31 per kWh compared to the cost of generation from fossil-based diesel of about USD 0.50 per kWh.

GEA has commenced the tendering process, by inviting bids for the construction and installation works of the project. It is expected that the works will commence in July 2017 and be completed by March 2018.  It is envisioned that the construction and installation phase of the project will provide a source of employment for the community, since the selected contractor will be required to utilise local labour force, once available.

Supervision of the project during the construction phase will be conducted by GEA’s Engineers along with their counterparts from the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. (HECI) and the Mabaruma Power and Light Company (MPLC). Additionally, regular updates will be provided to the Mayor and Councillors of the Region, and the general community, on the project through meetings and site visits. During these sessions, they will be encouraged to participate in the monitoring of the project.

While this project will provide much experience in implementing and operating hybrid systems, GEA and HECI are actively studying and pursuing similar systems for areas such as Bartica, Lethem, Kumu and other areas.

The Guyana Energy Agency will continue its efforts towards the development of Hydropower in Guyana in keeping with its vision to provide reliable energy in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable frame work.