Over 28,000 solar PV home systems distributed in Amerindian communities – PM Phillips

as gov’t records ‘tremendous’ progress in power generation thus far

Over 28,000 solar PV home systems have been delivered to more than 120,000 Guyanese in indigenous communities across the country, as part of the Solar Home Systems Project.

This was the update from Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, as he defended the government’s $1.146 trillion budget in the national assembly on Friday.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips

The senior government official highlighted the monumental strides made thus far in the power generation arena, as the government moves to implement measures to support affordable electricity and renewable energy sources.

The Solar Home Systems Project is part and parcel of this agenda and sees 30,000 households in the hinterland, riverine, and rural communities receiving a solar home system unit. Each package includes a 150-watt panel, charge controller, battery, fan, and other basic fittings.

“More will be delivered in 2024 because the budget caters for the continuation of these projects. The PV systems will serve essential social services, healthcare facilities, even schools, village offices, multipurpose buildings, meeting halls, public living quarters and households. This has transformed the lives of people throughout our hinterland and riverine area. The people are saying, ‘There is more we can do now with the light that is available’. More hours of production for them. More hours of studies, for the children to write their exams,”  PM Phillips said.

Between 2020 and 2023, investments in solar photovoltaic technology in Guyana have heightened, as this fosters sustainability, lowers the cost of electricity and significantly advances the transition to clean energy.

As testament to this effort, PM Phillips pointed out that the country has witnessed a ‘remarkable’ increase in solar installed capacity, moving from 5.3 megawatts to 14.6 megawatts.

“This growth was achieved from strategic additions each year, including the Mabaruma solar PV farm, solar PV systems on government buildings, solar mini-grids at various locations,” the PM explained.

Additionally, 19 communities, spanning regions one, two, seven, eight, nine and ten have benefitted from the installation of solar PV mini-grids.

The new solar photovoltaic system that was distributed to several households in the hinterland regions

This year, works on the mini-hydropower facilities in Kumu and Moco-Moco will advance with a $1.3 billion budgetary allocation.

Work will also begin this year on a 10-megawatt solar farm in Berbice, an eight-megawatt solar farm in Essequibo, and a 0.6-megawatt solar farm in Leguan.

The 2024 budget also provides for the construction of an additional five solar mini-grids throughout Region Nine in the villages of Awarewaunau, Katoka, Maruranau, Nappi, and Yupukari, benefitting approximately 4,700 Guyanese.

Guyana’s transition to renewable energy is also becoming evident in the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), which help to reduce emissions and lower fuel costs.

According to the prime minister, with some 120 electrical vehicles in Guyana, the government has taken action to install electric charging stations in regions three, four and six.

“By installing these EV charging stations, that itself along with other measures such as the income tax relief, and excise tax relief, will encourage more and more Guyanese to purchase or import EV vehicles in Guyana,” he said.