Mabaruma solar farm to be commissioned soon

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 19, 2018

Very soon, residents of Mabaruma, Region One will benefit from an improved power supply when the new solar farm is added to the generation mix.

The construction and installation of the $264Million solar farm is now complete and the contractor is currently completing work on the automatic switching from the generator to the solar farm.

The solar farm located at Khan’s Hill, Mabaruma, Region One

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said the automatic switching from the solar power to the generator during cloudy days or during the rainy season is not ready as yet.

“The system is a hybrid system whereby during the day when the sun is up the whole town would be powered by the solar farm. Solar is intermittent so therefore, you may be having a 100 percent solar, then a cloud passes over and you drop from 100 to 80 percent. On a cloudy or overcast day, the difference between what the solar power is producing and what the town needs will have to be augmented by the generator,” Minister Patterson related.

According to the Public Infrastructure Minister, there are half-hour storage batteries in place. In instances when it is overcast for more than half an hour the generator will automatically switch on.

“It [solar farm] produces 400 kilowatts so we have batteries for 400 kilowatts for half an hour if there is no sun. On the 31st minute, the batteries would die and the generator is will switch on and power the town; that switching has not been synchronized so when the generator is on it takes all the load as opposed to waiting until the battery runs dead,” Minister Patterson underlined.

The contractor is working assiduously to complete finalising the switching mechanism so that the solar farm can be commissioned. In the interim, the town is being run fully either on solar power or generator.

The solar farm should be able to power three-quarters of the community and the remaining quarter will be powered by fossil fuel or diesel.

The initiative is part of the government’s plan to move Guyana towards becoming a ‘Green State’ and will serve as a medium to reduce the country’s fossil fuel bill and prevent carbon emissions.

Other solar farms at Lethem in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo); Mahdia in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and at Bartica in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) will be pursued.

 

Ranetta La Fleur

Image: Kennyann Bacchus

 

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