Guyana’s Department of Public Information has announced in a press release Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has signed an agreement with the Norwegian government for the financing of a 100 MW solar power project to be developed in the South American nation.
The project is expected to be financed by $80 million previously linked to the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, a 160 MW plant at a remote location at the confluence of the Amaila and Kuribrong rivers, approximately 200 km southwest of Georgetown. The cash will now be placed into a trustee account for release to Guyana following a trilateral meeting with representatives of Norway, Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The solar project will be part of the country’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy, which aims at sourcing all the country’s energy demand from renewables by 2025.
Guyana has so far only implemented a few solar initiatives, in the rooftop segment. Last year, 1.36 MW of solar arrays were installed on around 70 government buildings and this year another 2.5 MW on 119 more buildings are planned. All the systems benefit from net metering, which enables entry to the grid for non self-consumed electricity.
Guyana’s energy production is currently achieved almost entirely by thermal plants, mostly fueled with imported heavy fuel oil (HFO) and diesel oil, according to a Norwegian government document. Most demand is met by the interconnected Demerara/Berbice (DBIS) grid, which has a capacity of 164.9 MW. State-owned sugar producer Guysuco also operates as an independent power producer (IPP) with another 38 MW of thermal power capacity.
Power consumption, however, is expected to more than double from 749 GWh per year in 2015 to 1,503.5 GWh in 2025, ensuring at least 200 MW of additional power generation capacity is needed.
Guyana is South America’s third-smallest country, with a population of around 770,000.