CARICOM HQ has gone Solar, will sell excess power to the grid

CARICOM HQ has gone Solar, will sell excess power to the grid

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CARICOM Secretariat - The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) headquarters at Liliendaal Georgetown Guyana, may soon be selling  solar-generated electricity to Guyana Power and Light (GPL), as soon as all the legal arrangements have been concluded.

This is the word from Secretary General Dr. Carla Barnett, as she spoke on Tuesday at the official handing over of a 400-kilowatt solar generation project, with 1,500 solar panels and servers and batteries, which was constructed at the CARICOM headquarters  through a US$17.8M grant agreement between the Governments of Guyana and Japan, US$7M of which was earmarked for the project.

Solar panels at CARICOM Headquarters, Liliendaal, GeorgetownSolar panels at CARICOM Headquarters, Liliendaal, Georgetown"This PV power generation system is expected to generate more electricity than is required by the Secretariat for its operation on an annual basis, and the expectation is that the available excess energy would “feed‑in” to the utility grid during its off‑peak operation periods. The Secretariat is seeking to conclude the legal arrangements, which will attend the bi-directional flow of electricity with GPL, within this quarter," Dr. Barnett explained.

"The investment of more than US$7 million by the Government of Japan is already transforming the way in which the Secretariat is sourcing and using energy at the Headquarters building, which itself was built with considerable assistance from the Government of Japan. On behalf of the Community, I wish to thank Japan, represented by the Ambassador here today, for sharing the energy vision of CARICOM: that all CARICOM citizens have access to modern, clean and reliable energy supplies at affordable and stable prices”. Today, we can say that, where energy is concerned, at the CARICOM Secretariat we are practicing what we preach," she said.

The CARICOM Secretary General pointed out that " the investment of more than US$7 million by the Government of Japan is already transforming the way in which the Secretariat is sourcing and using energy at the Headquarters building, which itself was built with considerable assistance from the Government of Japan. On behalf of the Community, I wish to thank Japan, represented by the Ambassador here today, for sharing the energy vision of CARICOM: that all CARICOM citizens have access to modern, clean and reliable energy supplies at affordable and stable prices”. Today, we can say that, where energy is concerned, at the CARICOM Secretariat we are practicing what we preach.

Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Hiroyasu Tonokawa noted that while Caribbean countries have stated their commitment towards clean energy and energy efficiency, they are still dependent on hydrocarbon-sourced energy.  “However, many challenges still remain. Despite the commitment of the respective governments, most CARICOM member states are heavily dependent on fossil fuels which do not have an adverse influence on climate change but is also the cause of high energy cost in the region,” he said.

Guyana's president Dr Irfaan Ali said Guyana was willing to share the experience and capacity it has gained and built over the years in renewable energy with the Caribbean to help advance the energy plans of CARICOM member states.

He said that Guyana is a member of the International Solar Alliance, and for the past ten years, the country has worked closely with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to support the smart development of renewable and efficient use of energy in key sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, which are the backbone of Guyana’s economy.

"This is something we are willing to share with the rest of the region. We are willing to share this capacity that we have built,” Ali said.

He said that Guyana, with the support of organisations such as TERI, can offer the region energy performance studies to identify options for energy conservation measures.

“We are prepared to work with the region on renewable energy opportunities to ensure we as a region are coordinated in our effort to support each other and to play our part collectively in the fight against climate change by tackling mitigation opportunities.”

 

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