GEA Takes Solar Powered Energy Efficient Street Lighting Technology to Bartica
Georgetown, November 6, 2017: The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), in keeping with its mandate to carry out research into all sources of energy including those sources presently used in Guyana for the generation of energy, and securing more efficient utilisation of energy and sources of energy, has recently installed twenty (20) integrated 80W solar powered Light Emitted Diode (LED) street lights in Agatash Village, Bartica as part of a Demonstration Project. Located along the left bank of the Essequibo River, and about 2 miles from Bartica’s city center, Agatash previously had no street lights.
The integrated solar powered street light uses renewable energy from the sun to charge the batteries which provide lighting at nights using energy efficient LED lights. The lights are controlled by a light sensitive circuit to switch the lights on in the evenings and turn them off at dawn. As part of the energy conservation features of the initiative, the technology dims the lights by 50% when motion is not detected and returns to 100% brightness when motion is detected. One advantage of these systems is that they are not powered by the utility, thereby avoiding the use of fossil-based energy from the grid and the associated costs.
As part of the Green Bartica Initiative, GEA conducted the relevant evaluations in 2016 and budgeted for the Demonstration Project in 2017. Solar Powered Street Lights are not appropriate for deployment at all locations. Locations for the use of solar-powered street lights have to be carefully reviewed to ensure that they are not shaded and have sufficient space on the existing poles to accommodate the structures. Otherwise, separate poles have to be installed to accommodate the lights which can add to the cost and clutter of structures lining the roadways.
This Demonstration Project, financed by the Government of Guyana, was completed at a cost of G$3.97 million, translating into a unit cost of G$198,500 installed. Based on the existing Street Lights Tariff, the 20 solar powered street lights will result in annual energy savings of about 7,008 kWh, resultant annual cost savings of about G$350,400 and associated environmental benefits. The computed simple payback when compared to a similar installation using utility powered 80W LED lamps is 6 years. GEA will continue to monitor the installations and provide technical support and maintenance.
Bartica was officially declared a town on the May 7, 2016. The installation of the solar powered street lights in Agatash is one small step in the Government of Guyana’s Green initiative, which involves a holistic approach to sustainable economic growth in the new township. The main objectives of the plan are to create a climate resilient economy and to establish a green pathway which will result in reducing the overall carbon footprint in electricity, agriculture, fisheries, water, forestry, waste, manufacturing, transport, construction, tourism and other sectors.