– Patterson tells House
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson has told the National Assembly that by next year, Guyana’s first solar farm will come into operation. And, construction of two others may begin. These projects, he said, will translate tremendous benefits for the people of Guyana.
As he took the floor of the National Assembly during the recently concluded National Budget debates, Patterson spoke of several infrastructural projects which he touted as projects to serve the transformational well-being of Guyana. Among the projects he mentioned was the solar farm, which will help to produce cheap electricity.
Patterson boasted, “construction of Guyana‘s first-ever solar farm in Mabaruma started in 2017, and this is expected to become operational in 2018.”
He also noted that feasibility studies for the establishment of solar farms in Port Kaituma and Bartica have commenced. Patterson said that government buildings, including ministries, schools, and health centres, are being outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels, to reduce Government’s dependence on the national grid.
The Mabaruma solar farm is being constructed by a German company called Meeco. The 400-kilowatt solar farm will provide an additional 17 hours of electricity to the 3,000 residents of the Region One (Barima-Waini) community of Mabaruma.
The establishment of a solar farm at Mabaruma, at an estimated cost of $264M, was announced last year during the reading of the 2017 National Budget by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.
Minister Jordan also said at the time that the proposed project was part of the government’s plan to move Guyana towards becoming a ‘Green State’ as a measure of a larger plan to reduce the country’s fossil fuel bill and prevent carbon emissions.
Jordan had also announced that investors and other persons involved in the direct importation of items for energy efficiency will benefit from tax exemptions. Those exemptions, he said, were expected to benefit not just investors but the residents also.
The government will also be pursuing other solar farms at Lethem in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo); Mahdia in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni); and at Bartica in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). These farms are projected to generate 800, 400, and 1.5 kilowatts of electricity respectively.
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