To counter the troubled Chinese-laid link across the Demerara River, the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has reportedly found success in running new lines on the West Bank and connecting it to the Garden of Eden plant. It will mean that the state-owned power company will have options if the Kingston submarine goes down again.
The power company has been battling with how to bring the excess power that is available from the Vreed-en-Hoop power plant to the East Demerara area when the submarine cable is damaged.
It has been damaged a number of times, with the most recent occasion being a few months ago, causing the power company to shut electricity in scheduled outages to communities in the East Demerara and Berbice interconnected areas.
With regards to that ambitious West Demerara project, GPL yesterday announced it has energised a new 13,800 Volts Express Feeder (distribution line) from Vriesland to the Vreed-en-Hoop (VEH) Power Plant, a distance of over 16 kilometres.
“This project was executed at a total cost of $76,955,765 Guyana Dollars and will bring significant benefits to residents and businesses on the West Bank Demerara. These benefits include, but are not limited to reduced frequency and duration of service interruptions, improved voltage quality and reliable electricity supply,” the power company explained.
GPL also disclosed that this project has commenced the utilisation of concrete pole structures for the first time within the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).
Before, there was almost 100 percent dependence on Wallaba poles.
“This new development is associated with multiple benefits which are to be accrued overtime.
Prior to the installation of the feeder, power supply to customers on West Bank Demerara was supported by the importation of approximately 3 MW from the Garden-of-Eden (GOE) Power Plant via the Craig to Vriesland submarine cable link.”
This is despite having adequate capacity at the VEH station of approximately 14 MW; which is exported to the East Bank Demerara. The main reason for this was the inadequacy of having a single feeder from the VEH power plant to Vriesland.
GPL assured that the project will also add flexibility to the interconnected system, whereby power can also be exported from the West Bank Demerara to the East Bank Demerara via an alternative route provided by the new distribution line.
With regards to the benefits of the alternative link, GPL stressed that there will be improved reliability of service – in the form of reduced outages, as the two distribution lines can better supply areas between VEH and Vriesland, with the added distribution capacity and redundancy allowing for maintenance activities to be carried out with limited interruptions.
“For example, if there is a fault on the original feeder, the new feeder can adequately supply customers who would have been otherwise out of power.”
There will also be improved voltage quality.
“Residents and businesses, including the GWI facilities, will experience improved voltage levels. These will be further enhanced with the installation of capacitors and voltage regulators over the next few weeks.”
There will also be a reduced reliance on imported power from the East Bank Demerara.
GPL pointed out that power is imported from the East Bank Demerara via the Craig to Vriesland 13.8 kV Cable.
“As demonstrated by recent experience, the submarine cables are susceptible to disruption from vessels traversing the Demerara River. While GPL is implementing measures to reduce this risk, the new feeder will serve to make our systems more resilient by reducing the need to transfer power across the Demerara River.”
The power company said that the project represents the first phase of a comprehensive programme to improve and expand power supply.
“Subsequent phases related to this project will include the installation of capacitors and voltage regulators on both feeders in the short term and the construction of a new 69 kV substation at Wales with connecting 69 kV lines to VEH and GOE. These initiatives will bring further benefits to customers on the West Bank, as well as the wider DBIS.”
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