New Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) sub-stations are now operational at Vreed-en- Hoop and Edinburgh, Region Three and company Chief Executive Officer Bharat Dindyal has said they will stabilise the power supply to the West Coast of Demerara.
The completion of the load assignment to the four sources has resulted in a vast improvement in GPL’s ability to ensure an adequate voltage, the Government Infor-mation Agency (GINA) reported on Thursday, after Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, GPL’s Board Chair-man Winston Brassington and Dindyal visited the new sub-stations at Vreed En Hoop and Edinburgh.
The operation of the new stations is expected to benefit particularly those consumers on the lower reaches of the West Coast, who should have noticed an improvement, it was noted.
Dindyal was quoted as saying that with the new systems, power will be stabilised on the West Demerara, which he described as a vast improvement from what obtained before.
He recalled that prior to the upgrade of the systems, it was said that consumers on the West Demerara were forced to depend on the single 13.8Kv link at Garden of Eden and whenever there was a problem between Crane and Garden of Eden, the entire West Demerara was affected.
Now, he said, Residents in La Retraite to Free and Easy, West Bank Demerara are being powered by the Garden of Eden station; La Retraite to Versailles by the Versailles Power station; Vreed-en-Hoop to Windsor Forest by the new Vreed-en-Hoop sub-station; Windsor Forest to Edinburg by the new Edinburg sub-station; and Edinburg to Roden Rust also by the Edinburg sub-station.
Hinds said that the new sub-stations cater for the rapid growth in demand on the West Coast, which has overloaded the feeders. However, with the new sub-stations, the West Demerara has been released from its heavy dependence on Garden of Eden and GPL now has the ability to restore power rapidly to the West Coast if there is an incident.
GINA said it was pointed out that a period of testing was completed by GPL prior to the systems being functional. It noted that there is further fine tuning to be done on the new feeders, particularly to balance the load, but this would be done in 2013.
In addition, Hinds said that the upgrade programme has another 12 months and involves the installation of seven sub-stations. Apart from the Vreed-en-Hoop and Edinburg sub-stations, others are being installed at Golden Grove on the East Bank, Georgetown, New Sophia, Good Hope and Columbia on the East Coast under a US $42M project that is expected to be completed by September 2013.
Meanwhile, Brassington said the launch of the operations of the two sub-stations is timely, since Christmas is fast approaching. He said customers should expect improved reliability and stability. “We are now linked to Kingston where the power will come from, so this will allow us to turn off Leonora and Versailles and have those simply be back-up,” he explained.
While reliability and stability of the systems are being enhanced, focus is also being placed on ensuring the availability of an integrated 69KV system spanning from Berbice to Essequibo.
Brassington added that GPL is moving from using diesel to heavy fuel oil and as a result the agency will save on fuel cost.