Govt moves to amend GPL licence
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Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson – File Photo.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson – File Photo.

… to cater for company’s purchasing power
…citizens invited to make representation or objections

WITH the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) seeking partnerships to remedy its shortfalls in power generation, the government through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, is moving to amend a section of GPL’s licence to allow the purchasing of power from external sources.

In local newspapers on Sunday, a notice signed by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, stated that GPL’s licence restricts the company from purchasing power from any person other than an Independent Power Producer (IPP) which produces power from renewable energy sources.

The IPP also does not include businesses whose main business is not the generation of power and which supply no more than 10 megawatts (MW).
Currently, GPL is in the process of finalising a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with MCG Investments Inc. [Giftland Mall] to enhance its generating and reserve capacity and meet the needs of its customers.

While the legal and regulatory modalities are being completed, GPL’s board has given authorisation for the receipt of Expressions of Interest (EoI) from other potential power providers with immediately available generation capacity. Another such potential supplier is Banks DIH.

The company faces many challenges due to the shortfall in power generation in the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

Due to a defective transformer at the Onverwagt, Berbice Substation, GPL is unable to export 6.9MW of power to the DBIS. Additionally, a 5.5MW generator at the Canefield Power Plant is scheduled for maintenance, while a 4MW generator at the Garden-of-Eden Power Station is unavailable as GPL is currently awaiting replacement parts. To compound the situation, on September 3, one of GPL’s poles with two transformers was uprooted by contactors on the Sheriff/Mandela Road expansion project.

In the notice, Minister Patterson expressed that the government and GPL are serious about working toward the reduction of blackouts, as well as the supply of efficient power to Guyanese.

“There is much public interest (home-owners and private businesses) to supply their excess generation capacity to GPL’s grid. The government and GPL are desirous of facilitating distributed generation in a manner that is consistent with GPL’s generation and expansion plans, and with the country’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) which recommends the opportunity for consumers, small and large-scale businesses to supply their excess generation to public suppliers,” Patterson stated.

With this consideration, the minister has proposed the amendment of Section 15 of GPL’s licence in keeping with Section 13 of the Electricity Sector Reform Act, 1999.

It should allow the company to purchase the excess generation capacity of its consumers, self-generators and other businesses where feasible and consistent with the company’s generation requirements for connection to its grid.

The general public has been given no later than October 6, 2019, to make representations or objections to the Minister of Public Infrastructure at his Kingston, Georgetown office.

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