Government signs contract for the construction of a 0.686-Megawatt Solar Farm at Mahdia

Over 2,884 residents will benefit from a more reliable and efficient supply of electricity with construction of a new 686kWp Turn-key Solar farm in the Mahdia community. The Solar Farm would be constructed on 1.7 Acres of Land which will be secured by 2 meters high perimeter fencing along with solar-powered perimeter lighting. The facility would have two (2) security huts equipped with the necessary lighting and lavatory compartments.

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; however approx. 67% of the MPL’s expenditure is directed to the purchase of fuel which is transported from Georgetown some 200km away.

The design, supply and installation of the Turn-Key Solar PV system and its interconnection to Mahdia grid would be done in compliance with the NEC & National Grid Code,in addition to the adherence to all quality assurances, environmental standards and social regulations.The Solar Farmwould be constructed into two (2) identical subsystems with each faction having a capacity of 343.2kWp of PV Power connected to 375kW of Grid-Power Inverters, and a Storage Capacity 750kWh Lithium Battery Bank connected to 400kW of Grid Forming Hybrid Inverters which will support Off-Grid operations and Cloud-Coverage. In addition to offsetting 30-65% or more of the annual electricity to the Mahdia mini-grid; the Solar Farm would have the capacity to supply electricity to the community in excess of 2-hours daily without the operation of Diesel Generators.

At a total PV Capacity of 686.4kWp, Storage of 1500kWh 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.

A comprehensive SCADA System would be implemented for reporting and providing remote monitoring.  On completion of the construction of the Turn-key Solar Farm technical training will be provide to MPL Inc. along with the appropriate factory warranties and service tools/spares parts.

Following an open tender process, the for the Mahdia solar PV project was awarded to Standby Power Engineering Company (SPECOM) for the sum of GY$ 362,411,200.   Mr. Aundrea Cambridge, General Manager and Marketing Engineer of SPECOM, at the signing ceremony, provided his personal assurance that the project will be completed before the end of 2023 and on budget.

The 0.65MW 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 Guyana Energy Agency being responsible for project implantation.

GEA recently commissioned its first mega-scale solar farm at Lethem. The 1MW Solar farm was commissioned on August 5, 2022 and has since avoided the consumption of some 72,711 litres of diesel or about 457 drums.   A 1.5MW solar farm at Bartica is expected to be commissioned during the last quarter of 2022.

In keeping with the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, Government’s programmes between 2021 and 2022 would complete the installation of solar farms at Lethem and Bartica, 28 solar mini-grids, and 29 off-grid locations, totalling 3.415MW of installed capacity, avoiding 3,542 tons of carbon dioxide per year and benefiting some 52,940 persons.

The government remains committed to realising the objectives and targets of the Low Carbon Development Strategy; particularly investing in clean energy to stimulate future growth and providing affordable, stable and reliable energy to benefit both households and businesses

As part of the sustainable energy transition, the government is advancing an energy mix of hydropower, natural gas, solar and wind, leading to more than 500MW of newly installed capacity. This expansion in installed capacity is geared towards addressing the anticipated tripling in electricity demand.

Ultimately, these plans will decouple economic growth from using fossil fuels for electricity by developing low-carbon energy resources to meet rapidly rising demand and keep greenhouse gas emissions low.