PM emphasises Govt’s commitment to bridging energy divide for Amerindian communities


-Commissions solar farms in Capoey, Tapakuma

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips commissioned two solar mini-photovoltaic (PV) farms on Sunday for the indigenous communities of Tapakuma Village and Capoey Mission on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two.

The grids include a battery energy storage system and transmission line.

The solar farm in Mission Capoey boasts a 41.5-kilowatt system with a 125-kilowatt battery; while Tapakuma’s solar mini-PV farm provides residents with a 21-kilowatt system and a 63.47-kilowatt battery.

The Prime Minister, who oversees the energy sector, said that the projects demonstrate the Government’s dedication to equitable development for all Guyanese through the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. This shift, he said, aligns with the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030.

The Prime Minister and residents

He spoke of the systems in place to transition to renewable energy; and to amplify food and climate security to enhance the lives of all Guyanese and to “stand out as an example of development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and of course the wider world”.

Speaking to the residence of Tapakuma, The Prime Minister emphasised the Government’s people-centered approach, focusing on designing and implementing projects that bring development to local communities.

“We believe that as a government, our plans, our projects and programmes that we design once properly delivered, can improve the lives and livelihood of the people of Guyana. We want to ensure that you get better electricity better water, better ICT connectivity, better roads, better medical facilities, better school facilities and we are working overtime… and that’s why you hear terms like transformational development, accelerated development.”

At Capoey’s commissioning ceremony, he noted that the project exemplifies the Government’s commitment to bridging the energy divide in line with the administration’s manifesto promises.

The control station for the solar panels

“We are here to deliver another promise we made to you, our people in our manifesto that we went to elections within 2020. One of the things we promised to do is to bridge the energy divide, and what we are doing today is implementing another project that will ensure that. No longer will the people on the coastline only get the benefits of good energy supply, but today and onwards the people in the hinterland and in the riverain areas will also benefit.”

He expressed optimism that the solar farms will aid in the overall development of indigenous communities, emphasising their collective responsibility to manage the solar grids responsibly.

Additionally, he discussed the Government’s sustainable energy efforts, including the distribution of 30,000 solar panel systems benefiting 200 hinterland communities, implementation of the Gas-to-Shore project (providing an additional 300 megawatts), and plans to seek investments for the Amelia Falls hydro project.

Head of Guyana’s Energy Agency and lead agency for implementing solar farms, Dr Mahender Sharma provided an overview of the projects and echoed the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Phillips during the commissioning ceremonies.

In addition to the commissioning, the Prime Minister addressed concerns affecting residents from both communities, including water quality, transportation, road rehabilitation, ICT, farming, electrical grid connectivity, education, and hinterland scholarships.

Prime Minister Phillips made several interventions including a $500,000 donation facilitated through his office’s Special Projects fund to assist Tapakuma Village farms. He also assured residents that relevant agencies and authorities will address all issues raised.