GPL seeking to install three solar power plants

Expressions of Interest (EoI) are being invited by the power company for three solar PV farms on the West Coast Berbice (WCB), East Bank Demerara (EBD) and Essequibo Coast.

In a notice in the last Sunday Stabroek, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) said it is seeking at each location 3MWp (megawatt peak).

The notice came on the heels of another where GPL is seeking a dual use plant for 50MW.

The GPL notice said that the demand for electricity continues to rise at an average rate of 2.24% to 4.13% per annum which leads to 3% per annum increase in fuel consumption for the generating of electricity. This, it said, has been the trend over the last five years. It added that because of the heavy dependency on imported fossil fuels, the fuel cost constitutes a significant chunk of the production cost for electricity here and has a negative impact on economic growth. Ironically, the 50 MW plant that GPL is pursuing will utilise Heavy Fuel Oil and/or natural gas.

The advertisement for the solar photovoltaic (PV) farms said that there is ample land space and cited areas such as Naarstigheid (WCB), Kuru Kururu, EBD and Lima Sands on the Essequibo Coast.

Pointing out that it intends to diversify its power generation, GPL invited bids for the three farms under a Power Purchase Agreement. Each project will see the installation of three MWp with battery storage under a 20-year Build, Own, Operate. The project will also require erecting of associated substations.

Bidders have to have a strong balance sheet with a minimum capital of US$8m and demonstrate the ability to raise funds to accommodate a project with a capital cost of US$30m and a debt/equity  ratio of 75%:25%.

EoIs have to be submitted by 2 pm on October 17, 2017 to: The Secretary to the Tender Board,GPL, 91 Duke Street, Kingston. The bids will be opened thereafter.

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