The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has unveiled a long-term plan that will see all its power stations on the coastlands being connected into one grid.
The disclosures were made last week during a public engagement by the power company.
GPL is under pressure to reduce power outages.
However, it is racing against time to not only find more power from new engines and renewable sources, it is also contending on a transmission and distribution systems that has not redundancy and goes down as soon as a tree falls or there are hard winds.
Several engines also, more than 20 years old, are due to be retired.
Currently, the Demerara and Berbice systems are inter-connected with submarine cables that are laid across the respective rivers.
The one across the Demerara River is proving a major headache now, as it has been damaged repeatedly by vessels.
While an alternative cable has been laid between Princes Street and Vreed-en-Hoop, it does not have the capacity to bring all the power that the latter’s power station is capable of providing.
According to Chief Executive Officer, Albert Gordon, last week, there are plans to convert the power sources at Leguan and Wakenaam, two islands in the Essequibo River, to renewable ones.
There is funding available.
It is the plan also to link the two islands to create a backup.
This is easier and then there can be connections from the islands to Supenaam, on the Essequibo coast.
There is a brand new power station at Anna Regina which will assist.
From the two islands, it is the long term plan to connect to Parika, East Bank Essequibo, which will feed into the Demerara/Berbice network.
“In essence we could integrate all the areas we operate now on the coastlands,” Gordon said.
There is a possibility also of sending a cable along the Essequibo bank to Bartica, Region 7 but according to the CEO, this may come later.
He noted that the villages along the riverbanks are not fully populated and there are plans to link residents with solar power. Eventually these will be tied to the grid.
At the macro level, Gordon said that there are possibilities to build big power plants and even plans to sell to Suriname.
This could happen using natural gas from the offshore oil wells.
Investing on a long term in an inter-connected system has benefits including creating a smart system that feeds from each power station.
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