May 21, 2011 News
… Major solar power project announced
Government has unveiled a major hinterland project that will see 10,500 homes being equipped with solar power.
The programme is being executed by the Project Management Office, Office of the President, with the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for procurement and monitoring activities.
The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will also be lending support to the project implementation, a government statement announced.
Government is estimating that the majority of hinterland households, which includes 80 percent of the Amerindian population, are at present without access to basic electricity.
“The government will shortly launch the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) Hinterland Electrification Programme that will rectify this long-pervading inequity by providing access to clean and renewable energy,” the statement said.
The project will see the solar home systems being installed in about 135 Amerindian communities that are presently without power.
“The programme will cover all components of the solar system, including installation costs, transportation, wiring, light fittings, maintenance and management training.”
Tender bids, the statement said, were publicly invited by the Office of the Prime Minister on April 8 for the supply of Solar Home Systems. The bids have to be submitted by May 31st.
“The programme is being executed by the Project Management Office, Office of the President acting as Coordinator, with the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for procurement and monitoring activities with support from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.”
Each Village Council will be responsible for the management and maintenance of their system. “The programme provides for personnel from each village being trained to maintain the systems and residents in each village will pay a monthly contribution to a fund managed by the Village Council for maintenance services,” it was disclosed.
The project will expand access to clean and affordable energy throughout Amerindian communities in the hinterland and is a main component of the LCDS and plays a major role in achieving the Millennium Goals for sustainable development in Guyana, the release said.
According to the government’s procurement website, bids for the solar home systems were open through the International Competitive Bidding (ICB) procedure for eligible countries.
Bidders are expected to produce documentary evidence to demonstrate that the goods offered meet a 99 per cent reliability factor.
The bidder will also have to provide audited financial statements for the last three years prior to 2011, evidence of experience and technical capacity, bid security and product brochures. According to the website, the PM’s office is not bound to accept any or the lowest bid and reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
Last month, a major US$28.2M IDB-funded programme to take electricity to new housing schemes and the hinterland ended but Government announced that it has launched a special unit to continue.
The programme which started in earnest late 2004 has seen more than 22,000 homes on the coast being connected with 1,750 solar systems installed across 21 hinterland villages.
Places like Port Kaituma, Mahdia, Kurupukari and Orealla have all benefitted. Several regions including Region Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and Ten benefited. The programme also saw GPL losses reduced from a whopping 40 per cent in 2006 to 31.3 per cent in 2010.
For last year alone, interventions by the program for GPL would have seen savings to the tune of US$4M ($800M).
It is Government’s plan to power all the homes in Guyana, Prime Minister Sam Hinds promised, pointing out that rates are comparative to those of other countries in the region.
Speaking of the One Laptop Per Family programme and plans for the hinterland, the PM had disclosed that it is the plan to set up internet cafes in the various far-flung communities and power the equipment with the larger photo-voltaic system.
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