GPL commissions US6M voltage regulator system at Canefield substation

TO improve access to reliable and sustainable electricity in Region Six, government through the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), on Monday commissioned a Reactive Power Compensation System valued at 741 million yen, at the company’s Canefield Power Plant.

The installation of two 5-megavar compensators allows for the adding or injecting of positive and/or negative reactive power to the power system to essentially attain voltage control.

Government received funding for the initiative from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Japan’s Government through the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) in 2018, following regular complaints of fluctuating electricity. There were reports of both high and low voltage.

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips (third from left) and Japan’s Ambassador to Guyana Tatsuo Hirayama cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially commission the new power system at Canefield in Region Six (Delano Williams photo)

Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, called the initiative “groundbreaking” and highlighted that the reactive compensation system at the Canefield location is a first for the region.

He noted that the newly installed system will fundamentally change the way residents and the business community receive electricity.
“This upgrade will provide reliable, stable and efficient power in our system and is a first in many steps towards my government’s commitment of enhancing the capacity of GPL with regard to sustainable power generation to our citizens,” the Prime Minister stated.

It was disclosed that similar reactive compensation systems are slated to be commissioned at GPL’s Good Hope, Sophia, and Edinburg locations.
PM Phillips in noting that power generation is arguably the most demanded necessity of the 21st century, reiterated government’s commitment to working strategically with GPL to address the various challenges that the agency has been facing with regard to its capacity to supply its over 200,000 customer base.

Additionally, he highlighted government’s unwavering pledge to providing affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy through what he described as an “energy mix” that includes utilising fossil fuels, the gas-to-shore project, hydropower, solar, and wind.

One of the two newly installed 5-megavar compensators (Delano Williams photo)

“If you have constant power outages, economic development, all aspects of development in a country will suffer. Therefore, administrations must prioritize the maintenance and capacity building of institutions such as GPL to contribute to sustainable power supplies due to the long-term national benefits,” said the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, who has responsibility for electricity, explained that the new power system will benefit all residents in the region, improving not just their personal lives but also their business ventures.

He recalled receiving numerous complaints from residents and business persons about the devastating effects of low and high-voltage surges. He explained that the new system is controlled electronically, allowing GPL the opportunity to track and rectify issues of surges in the system in a more efficient manner.

“What this project will do is to bring up the reliability of the quality of electricity that businesses and residents receive. So, they have transformers, they have capacitor banks, and so on. Everything is here as you can see behind me, and then you have a control system that monitors that electronically, so they can raise the voltage level if the power that is coming from Georgetown drops.

They can raise the voltage level so it goes to the customer in the way that they need it in a more reliable form, so this is a groundbreaking thing for us at Canefield,” Minister Indar added.

Minister Indar noted the importance of stable power to the residents. He disclosed that the Guyana Water Inc. systems are also impacted by the surges and declines in electricity.

He noted that in many instances it has been highlighted that once the power “goes down” so does the water, which puts a halt to the daily activities of many families.


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