– Minister seeks amendments
While a number of local businesses and individuals are eager to acquire purchasing power in the Guyana Power Light, (GPL) Inc, achieving the objective may not be as straightforward as it appears.
This was outlined in a public notice signed by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson over the weekend.
In the advertisement, Patterson announced that the Public Infrastructure Ministry, under which GPL falls, is seeking to amend the company licence of GPL, to allow large and even small scale businesses to generate for the public supplier.
Patterson in the notice said that at present, GPL’s licence, Section 15, restricts the company from purchasing power from any person other than an Independent Power Producer (IPP), which produces power from renewable energy sources.
“IPP as defined under the Electricity Sector Reform Act 1999 does not include businesses whose main business is not the generation of power and which supplies no more than 10 megawatts (MW).
According to the Minister, there is much public interest (homeowners and private businesses) to supply their excess generation capacity to GPL’s grid.
He said that, “As a result the Government and GPL are desirous of facilitating distributed generation in a manner that is consistent with GPL’s generation and expansion plans and with the country’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) which recommends the opportunity for consumers, small and large businesses to supply their excess generation to public suppliers.”
Moreover, Minister Patterson proposes to amend GPL’s licence to allow the company to purchase the excess generation capacity of its consumers, self-generators and other businesses.
This must be feasible and consistent with the company’s generation requirements for interconnection to its grid.
As in accordance to the Electricity Sector Reform Act 1999, the public can make representations and/or objections to the proposal.
The Minister indicated that public opinions can be submitted to the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Wights Lane, Kingston, and this must be done no later than October 6, 2019.”
With the constant power outages having an adverse effect on the citizenry, as well as on production, the Government of Guyana was in negotiations for power purchasing agreements with the popular business establishment, the Giftland Mall.
Giftland reportedly has the capacity to share some 4.5 megawatt [Mw] with the Power and Light Company.
Proprietor of the Mall, Roy Beepat had said that his company could help reduce GPL’s shortfall, which has resulted in frequent blackouts on East Coast Demerara.
Beepat has however noted his plans are being met with much delay, particularly on the part of GPL.
According to Beepat, Giftland has been in discussion during the last three years with GPL in hopes that a Power Providing Agreement [PPA] could have been the ultimate outcome. But there have been reports that the Mall hasn’t the capacity to lend sufficient support to GPL.
According to Beepat, any report that “Giftland Mall cannot supply the required power at the time slots required” is nothing but “propaganda”.
“We stand by our statement that a dedicated 3Mw is available and we can supply up to 4.5Mw as required. We are not sure what further justification is required to show why this cannot withstand any scrutiny. We have also received numerous concerns as to why there are still occasional power cuts to the East Coast region.”
“Our prices are competitive and better than Power supplied by GPL Diesel generators. The supply is available without any expenditure to GPL without commitment for long term supplies,” Beepat said.
But even in the face of these discouragement, Beepat said that he has been receiving “many warm wishes and congratulations” in relation to reports that a few months ago an announcement from the Ministry of the Presidency suggested that a PPA was about to be signed with Giftland.
Yet, the businessman said, “No PPA has been signed to date and this will explain why power cuts continue when there is lack of required power generating capacity.
The last information reaching us was that GPL requires justification as to why they should buy from us, apparently cheaper cost, no liability or commitment and readily available power supply to make up the deficiency are not sufficient reasons,” Beepat added.
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