Nov 02, 2016 News
– new backup transmission lines for city, East Coast, new engines for Bartica, E’bo
Two major shutdowns last month that caused outages for hours in Demerara and Berbice will see the Guyana and Power and Light Inc. (GPL) taking action, including comprehensive maintenance and the building of new backup
In recent weeks, GPL was under pressure for a number of outages that rocked the coastlands – from Berbice to Essequibo. The entity reportedly had a number of management and board meetings recently to discuss the issues.
Government has been briefed, and GPL itself has been grappling to come up with solutions.
According to the state-owned power company yesterday, on October 18 and 19, 2016, the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) experienced shutdowns due to suspected faults on the 69kv transmission line linking the Kingston Power Station to the Sophia Substation (Dispatch Centre).
GPL said it has since stabilized the system and restored services after making adjustments to its protection system.
“The company intends to conduct a comprehensive maintenance exercise, in keeping with its Annual Maintenance Program, on the medium voltage (11 kv, 50 Hz) and high voltage (69kv) transmission line linking the Kingston Power Stations to the Sophia Substation scheduled for Sunday November 6, 2016.”
GPL explained that this planned maintenance exercise, expected to be of 10 hours duration, will affect areas on East Coast Demerara, East Bank Demerara and Georgetown as switching activities to facilitate alternative supply arrangements are carried out, and will result in some areas being without power for the duration of the exercise.
GPL announced also that to prevent an re-occurrence of the problems encountered with the Sophia and Kingston lines, starting next year it intends to commence construction of additional ones – a second 69kv transmission line linking Kingston substation and Sophia substation and another one linking Sophia, Good Hope and Columbia substations for the same reasons.
“These second lines will provide redundancies in the transmission network,” GPL said.
Four new substations will be constructed between 2017-2018 at Parika, East Bank Essequibo; Canal Number 2, West Bank Demerara; Kuru Kururu, East Bank Demerara and Williamsburg, East Bank Berbice.
GPL said that the majority of blackouts are the result of feeder trips. The company insisted that there is no shortage of generating capacity in the Demerara-Berbice Interconnection system, despite the Chinese-built submarine cable across the Demerara River being damaged. The damage has hampered excess power from West Bank to be brought to the city.
There are other plans afoot, too, to safeguard the transmissions.
“The company plans to install electronic remote control devices on its distribution feeders in order to reduce the duration and frequency of these outages,” GPL said.
This would reduce the current level of manual intervention for fault detection, isolation of affected areas and fault correction.
In terms of generation, GPL said it has made plans to boost its maintenance by an annual programme at all generating locations.
“This maintenance programme determines the extent of maintenance which is determined by the number of accomplished hours of each engine. During the month of October, a shortfall in generating capacity at the Bartica, Anna Regina, and Fairfield generation facilities resulted in periodic load shedding to a number of served areas. These generating units are very old and their replacements were neglected over the years.”
In Bartica, two of the three generating units were unavailable as a result of unexpected mechanical failures.
At present, two generating sets are in operation, while one engine is operating at reduced capacity.
GPL said that the peak demand in Bartica is approximately 1.6MW. The current output of the two units are for Engine No. 1 – 1.3MW and Engine No. 2 – 0.4MW.
GPL said it has transported an operational generating unit to Bartica. This unit was expected to be commissioned yesterday with an operational capacity of 1.5MW.
The power company said it intends to decommission Engine No. 2 for immediate remedial work to improve the output.
“Once commissioned the total generating capacity would be 2.8MW, which is significantly above the peak demand. Additionally, GPL has commenced the procurement process for a new 1.7MW HFO generating unit for Bartica. The company expects arrival of the new unit in May 2017.”
In terms of future plans, GPL said, in collaboration with the Government, it is actively pursuing the establishment of a renewable energy supply for the town to provide for load during daytime.
At Anna Regina, Region Two, two of the three generating units were unavailable as a result of unexpected mechanical failures. One of the two units was operating at reduced capacity.
The peak demand is 2.7MW, while available generation was 2.5MW.
GPL said it has managed to undertake urgent repairs on one unit with reduced capacity and has been able to increase capacity to meet peak demand.
Additionally the third unit is undergoing a major overhaul and is expected to be re-commissioned November 11, 2016. Once commissioned there will be an additional 1.3MW of generating capacity at this facility.
“GPL has commenced the procurement process for three new 60 hertz/cycle 1.7MW HFO generating units for Anna Regina. The company expects arrival of the new unit in May 2017.
Additionally GPL intends to complete the frequency conversion from 50hertz to 60hertz from La Union to Charity prior to the arrival of the new generating units.”
GPL also said it is planning a new hybrid (fuel/ renewable energy) power station for Anna Regina.
“GPL expects to partner with independent power providers on the renewable energy component of the new Plant.”
At Fairfield, on the Essequibo coast, GPL said that there are two units at this facility which serves villages from Hoff Van Aurich to Supernaam.
“The capacity of one unit is sufficient to meet the peak demand of 1.3MW. At present only one unit is available. The second unit is expected to be in operation by November 4, 2016,” GPL said.
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