Guyana gets US$83.3M for renewable energy projects
– investments being made in eight utility scale PV solar projects
The Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed an agreement for financing of up to US$83.3 million from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation to improve the diversification of the country’s energy matrix.
This will be achieved by promoting the use of climate-resilient, renewable energy sources in the generation of electricity, helping to avoid deforestation and confront climate change.
The non-reimbursable funds will see investments in eight utility-scale, photovoltaic solar projects totaling 33MWp (Megawatt peak) with associated 34MWh energy storage systems distributed across three areas in the country under the Guyana Utility Scale Solar Photovoltaic Programme (GUYSOL). Specifically, it will invest in 10MWp in Berbice, 8MWp project in Essequibo and 15MWp plant connected to the Linden system.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips in his remarks said the project will benefit some 265,000 customers on the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System, Linden Electrical System and the Essequibo System.
This transformative programme the Prime Minister said, will support the digitalisation of Essequibo and Linden electrical systems, moving them from manual systems towards real-time, automated monitoring and control, improving efficiency, reliability, and stability.
The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) and the Linden Electricity Company Inc. (LECI) will also benefit from the use of solar photovoltaic technology that will displace significant amounts of fossil fuels and reduce generation costs. It also has a training component which involves women.
“I will consider it a people centred transition to greater use of renewable energy and of course, it is in keeping with the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 agenda,” the prime minister said.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said the allocation of $83.3 million emerged from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) established under the original Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2009.
“This project is not financed by loan, it is not financed by Grant, it is financed by monies that have been earned by the people of Guyana as revenue paid to our country for the global climate services,” Dr. Singh explained.
The amount, the minister noted, was intended originally as government contribution to the Amaila Falls Hydropower project which was discontinued by the previous coalition administration. However, under the PPP/C Government the use of the funding was refocused, in its pursuit of the cause of advancing the country’s clean and renewable energy under the new LCDS 2030 agenda.
Meanwhile, IDB Manager of the Infrastructure and Energy Sector, Ariel Yepez-Garcia highlighted that even as Guyana’s economy continues to boom with the advent of the oil and gas industry, it is important to recognise the country’s commitments to climate change.
He added that the Government of Norway has recognised the critical focus Guyana must continue to have on decarbonisation, reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and maintaining the integrity of its pristine forest. Therefore, this special agreement has enabled Guyana to re-invest its earning into high-value, low-carbon, and solar investments.
Chief of Operations and Acting Country Representative, IDB Country Office, Guyana Lorena Solorzano Salazar stated that the operation, framed within the Norway-Guyana partnership and as part of the LCDS, will essentially take the country to 19 percent renewables on its grid in about three years. This is the kind of transformative change, she pointed out, fully aligns with the IDB’s Vision 2025 agenda.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. Sam Ramtahal were also present at the event.