Seven government buildings are to be used as a pilot for the installation of solar and grid-tie systems. The sustainable energy programme is an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) -funded project which supports the use of renewable energy sources to meet Guyana’s electricity demands.
The buildings for this trial are the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s main building on Wight’s Lane, Bishops’ High School, St. Joseph High School, Government Technical Institute and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
A grid-tie system is a power inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) with an ability to harmonise or interface with a utility line. Its applications are converting DC sources such as solar panels or small wind turbines into AC for tying with the grid. This means that energy produced from solar panels can be made available for use on the national grid, according to a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Horace Williams, Chief Executive Officer of the Hinterland Electrification Corporation Inc., in an interview with GINA, indicated that the testing of the grid-tie system will be done on the coast before it can be replicated in the hinterland.
“These systems are different from the off-grid systems. The off-grid systems will require battery storage and backup, these systems would use the grid as a backup so at nights when there is no sunlight to provide energy, the energy would come from the grid so these are slightly different from the regular systems that we would put into the hinterland,” Williams explained.
He added that the installation of grid-tie system require a legal framework which is not yet in place hence the reason the test is being conducted on public buildings.
“We will be able to understand how the system works and any kind of issues that we have to deal with when we look at the framework to allow the private sector to install such systems,” Williams said.
The bid documents are being finalised after which bids to supply and install grid-tie systems will be invited shortly. The bidding process will also be open to international bidders.
In the past, focus was on the installation of solar panels on hinterland homes that are not connected to the electricity grid. More than 20,000 such households benefitted from this type of energy system.