GPL power generation plagued by aged distribution, transmission lines

– changeout can be expensive, but can be done in phases
-Minister Indar

The Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) has, over the past four months, surpassed its generation needs, but remains constrained by aged distribution and transmission systems.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar made this revelation during a recent interview on DPI’s “The Progress Report.”

“We have well over the amount of generating capacity between Kingston, Vreed-en-Hoop, Garden of Eden, Onverwagt and so on… The problem is the delivery. The delivery system bringing it to commercial businesses and to households. It is the distribution lines that really creates the blackouts that people were getting mostly.”

Minister Indar relayed that there are numerous faults along the decades-old distribution lines even though the Government has invested to increase the company’s generating capacity to approximately 156 megawatts.

He said the faults are mostly along the distribution lines that stretch nearly 784km, although there are also issues along the approximately 276km of primary transmission lines.

While it is an expensive venture to replace all the aged distribution and transmission lines, Minister Indar said the task can be executed in phases.

To ensure the long-term viability of GPL, and to reduce the nearly 26.2 per cent losses, he said GPL’s Board of Directors and the Government are exploring available options to address the issue.

Currently, GPL utilises drone technology to identify vulnerable areas along the lines that need to be replaced.

Since assuming office, the PPP/C administration has secured nearly 5MW of power from the Giftland Mall through a Power Purchasing Agreement. The Government has also  imported gensets that produce 10MW of electricity.

In October, Prime Minister Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips outlined several Government plans to diversify the energy sector. These include, but are not limited to, the establishment of a gas-to-shore facility and the construction of off-grid stations powered by renewable energy sources.

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