APNU/AFC-touted 26MW Windfarm cannot produce even 10MW

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…no Power Purchase Agreement signed – Public Works Ministry

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government has inherited the Hope Windfarm project, which the ousted APNU/AFC Government had touted praises for in its green economy plan, but it has since been revealed by the Public Works Ministry that the wind farm can only produce under 10 megawatts (MW) of power.

This was communicated by the Ministry in response to questions posed by Inews. The project was originally marketed and touted by the previous APNU/AFC Government as being capable of producing 26 MW of power. But according to the Ministry, an assessment has shown that the project’s capacity is significantly less.

“During the period 2013 – 2015, the project generation configuration was proposed at 26 MW.  However, in 2016, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure determined to seek independent technical and financial guidance to support the Ministry and GPL (Guyana Power and Light) in the assessment of the project and in its engagements with the developer,” the Ministry in a statement to this publication said.

The proposed Hope Windfarm project

It added that this support was provided, which guidance determined “that due to potential negative environmental impacts (housing and other developments within the proposed project area over time), the capacity of the project was constrained to less than 10 MW.”

While there had been talk of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the Government and the developers, things have not progressed past that stage. In fact, the Ministry pointed out that the last engagement between the Ministry and the Hope Windfarm developers was in 2018.

According to the Ministry, it is important that the developer obtains environmental authorisation for the engagements on the project to go forward. This would serve to confirm the scope of the project.

“This determination would also enable the developer to engage GPL on the grid code process (process governing the terms for interconnection of the project with GPL’s grid). The Ministry’s engagement with the developer on the project was last in 2018.”

While the developer did share with the Ministry a model form of the power purchase agreement for consideration, no PPA discussion has been had with the developer in the absence of clarity on the generation capacity of the project, the Ministry also said.

Months after it took office in 2015, the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government had announced that it would facilitate a US$50 million, 25-megawatt wind farm project at Hope Beach on the East Coast of Demerara.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) subsequently identified International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) proprietor Lloyd Singh, an investor in the wind farm, as responsible for the party’s acquisition of its multimillion-dollar headquarters in February of 2016. AFC co-founder Khemraj Ramjattan had identified Singh as the one who provided the party with the advance for the property.

While not as stable as hydropower, wind energy generated by turbines is a form of renewable energy. But the Hope Beach Wind Farm project, at less than 10 MW, can supply only a fraction of what the proposed Amaila Falls Hydro Project (AFHP), at 165 MW, could have supplied. Amaila Falls Hydro Project was disintegrated by the previous APNU/AFC Government.