PM hopeful CARICOM solar plant will help promote renewable energy

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips, is hopeful that the CARICOM Secretariat’s Solar Photovoltaic Power Generation Plant, which was officially handed over today, will enhance interest in renewable energy.

In his address at the ceremony this afternoon, the senior government official, who has responsibility for the energy sector, said that interests should not just be at the CARICOM level but at the local level as well.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips

“It is hoped that the project will serve as a catalyst to enhance awareness of renewable energy and energy management amongst local businesses as well as other member countries and regions by demonstrating the technologies.”

The Prime Minister, who gave a history of the 400-kilowatt solar generation project, also thanked the Government and the people of Japan for their support.

The project was undertaken through a US$17.8M grant agreement between the governments of Guyana and Japan. Of the lot, US$7M was earmarked for its establishment.

He said that the 1500 solar panels, servers and batteries will allow the secretariat to “derive 100% of its energy from solar base sources on good sun days”.

The project, according to the Prime Minister, adds to the efforts of the Government of Guyana in transitioning the electricity sector away from fossil fuel to a low carbon path.

The Prime Minister said that he is optimistic that the project would be operated and maintained in an efficient manner to maximise its overall benefits.

He noted that since capacity building was an integral component of the project that a case study document to highlight the benefits of the systems should be prepared and shared with all for consideration of replication.

At the handing over ceremony, His Excellency, President Irfaan Ali, delivered the feature address and lauded the Secretariat for leading by example.

He said that the region continues to suffer from the effects of climate change and that utilising natural resources such as our abundant sun and wind power were critical moving forward.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr Carla Barnett and non-resident Ambassador of Japan to Guyana and CARICOM H.E Tatsuo Hirayama also spoke at the event.