GPL commissions solar photovoltaic systems
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Prime Minister, Mark Phillips
Prime Minister, Mark Phillips

SEEKING to reduce the country’s dependency on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation, the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL), in collaboration with the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Organisation of American States (OAS) commissioned its new grid tied solar photovoltaic systems on Wednesday.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

Prime Minister, Mark Phillips, during his keynote address, at a simple commissioning ceremony held at IICA’s Brickdam office, said the government was working to better utilise renewable energy and combat global warming.

The initiative is part of a pilot programme by the Integrated Utility Services jointly undertaken by CARICOM and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GMBH under its Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC).

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar

The systems are set up at the Brickdam offices of the OAS and IICA to provide those facilities with electricity. Combined, both systems generate a total of 30 kilowatts. Excessive electricity would be diverted into the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System and utilised. Approximately $6.3 million was spent on the systems.

Prime Minister Phillips noted that the commissioning of the systems demonstrates a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future, renewable and clean energy.

This, he added: “Plays a pivotal role in fostering economic development and energy security, job creation and poverty alleviation in a cost-effective manner while contributing to climate change mitigation.”

A plaque commemorating the commissioning of the solar photovoltaic grid systems in the compound of the Ministry of Agriculture (Photo courtesy of DPI)

The Prime Minister also reassured that the government remains committed to providing affordable, stable and reliable energy to benefit all while reducing the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation.

“Our government is currently embarking on its commitment to achieving a low carbon energy, a low carbon economy and advancing the country’s transition towards clean energy development. We have continued to work with the Guyana power and light in advancing its capacity in the area of power generation for our citizens.”

He further added: “The aim is to ultimately realise reduction in the cost of electricity by at least 50 per cent.”
Prime Minister Phillips also noted that the project adds to the efforts the government has already undertaken to deploy solar energy solutions to utilise clean energy and ensure energy security.

He said, too, that, apart from capacity building, this type of engagement between GPL and private institutions encourages revenue generation, strengthens partnerships and can only contribute to positive experiences in the future.

“The model allows GPL to explore new ways of providing its services while allowing partners to procure affordable, renewable energy and energy-efficient systems.”

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, reiterated that the commissioning of the photovoltaic system is a move in the right direction as it is in keeping with the agenda to achieve the emission reduction goals.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our society and our government has been leading the action locally to reduce emission through the Low Carbon Development Strategy, which sets out Guyana’s vision for balancing national development and global climate action,” the Agriculture Minister said.

He further added that such an investment will, overtime, contribute to lower electricity bills for consumers while reducing Guyana’s carbon footprint and safeguarding the environment at large.

Further emphasising on the benefits of the initiative, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, said: “Today is testament of renewable energy using photovoltaic system. The source of the energy is clean and the cost saving is something that is unmatched. Renewable energy continues to be the cheapest form and the world is transitioning to that.”

Minister Indar said that the government’s goal is for 90 per cent of Guyana’s generated electricity to come from renewable energy sources, which will be achieved through the execution of the government’s comprehensive agenda to diversify and clean up the energy mix.

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