Cabinet approves 11,000 solar systems for hinterland

The procurement of up to 11,000 65W Solar Home Systems for the LCDS Hinterland Electrification Programme has been approved by Cabinet after the conclusion of an international bidding process that resulted in over 40 expressions of interest.

Installation is expected to commence in late September.

According to a GINA press release, the majority of hinterland homes, including 80% of Guyana’s Amerindian population, are living without electricity at present and with this programme in place, this “long-pervading inequity” will be rectified. The programme will serve to provide access to clean and renewable energy throughout hinterland communities and will greatly contribute to Guyana’s overall Low Carbon Development Strategy.

The 65W Solar Home Systems will supply each home with power for lighting and small household appliances.

The programme will cover all components of the Solar Home System, including installation costs, transportation, wiring, light fittings and maintenance and management training. Persons from each community will be selected and trained in the installation, operations and maintenance of the Solar Home Systems. Training is expected to begin in late August.

This project, when completed, with the combined effect of the Hinterland Electrification Programme and the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is expected to  transform Guyana into one of the world’s highest consumers of renewable energy on a per capita basis. Also, the savings from the rising cost of imported fuel  will contribute greatly in the strategy to safeguard Guyana’s low carbon economic development.

The programme is being executed by the Hinterland Electrification Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, serving as overall project Coordinator in collaboration with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.

Village Councils will be fully responsible for the operations of the Solar Home Systems in their communities and the residents will be required to pay a small monthly contribution to a fund managed by the Village Council for maintenance services.

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