Sites earmarked for Bartica, Lethem solar farms

― GEA, contractors inspect locations

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) led a team comprising potential contractors and representatives from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), to inspect the sites earmarked for the construction of the Bartica (Region 7) and Lethem (Region 9) solar farms.

The 1.5-Megawatts Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant in Bartica will be located on 7.5 acres of land aback of Dagg Point Village. The 1-Megawatt solar farm, in Lethem, will be located on a 5.2 acre of land behind the Lethem Power Company Incorporated.

The site visits were conducted to ensure to guarantee that there is a proper contractor-prequalification process in place, as this will minimise project risk before the bidding opens on November 26.

GEAs Project Coordinator, Mfon Akpan explained the goal is to ensure contractors deliver a reliable and efficient system that has a lifetime warranty.

“We also look at Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE). So, if we pay you ‘X’ amount of dollar to develop this project, we are going to look at the next twenty years do we gain or are we losing… you must demonstrate that this system that you are going to design and install for us is going to be efficient, is going to be reliable and is going to meet the lifetime warranty that we are looking at.”

The team also visited and accessed the capacity of the power supply grids in both areas.

The two projects, which will benefit a total of 20,000 residents, will commence in the first quarter of 2020 and will be commissioned by the first quarter of 2021. It is part of a $1.7Billion (US$8.6M) initiative to provide an overall 3.15-megawatt solar-powered mini-grids system to Bartica, Mahdia and Lethem. The programme is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and executed by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).

Currently, Bartica (Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region) has an installed capacity of 4.4-megawatts; Mahdia (Potaro-Siparuni Region), 1.2-megawatts and Lethem (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region), 3.06- megawatts.

A pre-bidding conference was held at the Cara Lodge, on Monday, which dealt with the Bartica and Lethem projects. The event attracted some 20 local and international contractors who had the opportunity to clarify the scope of the project. The tendering process for Mahdia will be done separately.

The projects fall under the government’s Renewable Energy Solution for the Hinterland initiative. It is aligned with the country’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) framework to achieve, among other things, the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in the power sector; affordable, reliable and clean energy services for all; ensure security and quality of energy for business growth and increase energy efficiency.

Editor’s Note: Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE) – is a measure of a power source that allows comparison of different methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis… The LCOE can also be regarded as the average minimum price at which electricity must be sold in order to break-even over the lifetime of the project.