Solar set to make rum taste even sweeter in Guyana

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Guyana’s Ministry of Public Infrastructure and rum producer Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) have agreed to change the use of several areas at Diamond, in East Bank Demerara, where the company and ministry are separately involved in big development projects.

According to a ministry statement, the land use issues were discussed and agreed upon in principle and works are planned to improve drainage, traffic congestion and road safety. “Among DDL’s expansion plans are the construction of a new packaging facility, a new headquarters building, the establishment of a solar farm for energy generation, and the relocation of the Topco juice plant,” the ministry said.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, and his ministry’s Permanent Secretary Kenneth Jordan, visited DDL’s bottling plant, warehouse and distillery.

In Guyana there is only one other large-scale PV project under development, a 100 MW facility planned with the support of the Norwegian government.

Guyana is planning to more than double its power generation from 749 GWh per year in 2015 to 1,503.5 GWh in 2025. Around 200 MW of new capacity is needed to satisfy rising demand and solar will supply part of the new generation assets. To date however, only a few megawatts of PV – mostly rooftop systems – are connected to the grid. Rooftop arrays benefit from net metering, which enables the sale of excess power to the grid.

Guyana’s ambitious Low-Carbon Development Strategy aims to meet all power demand with renewables by 2025. That means the current capacity of 200 MW – provided by two thermal power plants – will have to be completely replaced.