ALMOST one year after being challenged by President David Granger to pursue a renewable energy plan, Demerara Bank Limited on Saturday unveiled its fully solar- powered head office on Camp Street as part of the company’s pursuit of green initiatives.
The building, which is not connected to the national grid and which is said to be one of two large commercial entities in the country which are fully powered by solar energy, is equipped with hundreds of solar panels, batteries and dozens of inverters, all of which push the full capacity required to satisfy the building’s energy requirements.
President David Granger, who toured the building following a brief ceremony at the facility, said that the country’s clean- energy revolution is gaining momentum as he expressed happiness that the bank is serving a beacon’s role in its adoption of renewable energy. “Renewable energy is the way of the future”, he told a gathering of private sector managers , diplomats and public officials who were gathered at the official ceremony. He said that the government is working hard towards its aim of making Guyana a green state.
He said that corporations around the world and even other countries within the Caribbean are moving forward with developing efficient energy sources , noting that some are ahead of Guyana in that regard.
However, according to the President, Guyana has many advantages in the energy sector, in terms of its potential capacity of generating solar power on an industrial scale.
“So we have the potential and we can become a leader in the Caribbean, in our sub-region in terms of generating renewable energy,” the President said, noting that the creation of the Department of Environment is geared at developing the holistic approach to a green state.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Yesu Persaud, noted that the bank has decided to donate LED lights to institutions in need, such as orphanages. He said that it is part of its plan of sharing its surplus.
He said that the company is also available to sell its initiative to corporations at an “unbeatable” rate of interest of eight percent. According to Persaud, businesses that wish to improve their potential and by extension contribute to the country going green can benefit from the offer.
CEO of Demerara Bank Limited, Pravinchandra Dave, said that the solar off-grid system , as it is referred to has the capacity of 125KW . He said that the system supports the 25,000 square feet building and carries 52 inverter- based air condition units and 200 LED lights powered by 360 solar panels. In addition, he said that 416 batteries power the building as part of the set-up of the system.
According to Dave , the entire system was erected at a cost of $28M , a figure which sees the company saving significantly than if it were connected to the national grid. In addition , Dave said that a United States –based company has been working with the bank on the installation of the system at the bank’s head office , which went fully solar on October 21.