GEA installs new $3.5M solar PV system at Low Wood Primary School

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

In keeping with its mandate to provide reliable and sustainable energy solutions for all Guyanese, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) conducted the installation of a new 3.3kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Wednesday at the Low Wood Primary School, located along the Demerara River.

The total system cost was G$3.5M. The 2-day installation exercise began on January 15 and ended January 17, 2024.

Following complaints of a non-functional system, a team of GEA engineers visited the school and carried out an assessment on January 10. Several issues were identified, including depleted batteries that were unchangeable, a defective inverter and other components requiring an upgrade to meet the existing load.

According to GEA Energy Engineer, Samuel Blackman, a load refers to any appliance or device that consumes electricity such as lights, refrigerators, water dispensers, microwaves, to name but a few. Blackman highlighted that a load analysis was critical to accurately size the photovoltaic components of the school’s system and determine the electrical requirements of the building.

He said: “You do not want to oversize or undersize the components of a PV system. Proper sizing is important so the system can fulfill the load requirements of the building. It is the individual loads that add up to size a system appropriately.” From the load analysis assessment, the primary school was successfully equipped with a 3.3kWp (kilowatt ‘peak’ power output) system, that includes a battery capacity of 19.2kWh (kilowatt hour) and inverter capacity of 5kW (kilowatts).

This solar system installation will provide adequate electricity supply and enable use of all electrical appliances and equipment, including a fan, photocopier and water dispenser, six 4ft LED (light emitting diode) lights, laptops and network devices for internet connection in the primary school. Blackman fondly recalled that several students immediately gathered with excitement around the water dispenser after the school was powered. Further, both students and teachers expressed immense appreciation and gratitude at the opportunity to access solar energy.

The Guyana Energy Agency continues to advance renewable energy management, conservation and energy-efficient initiatives that are easily accessible and beneficial to the public. The Agency, governed by the Guyana Energy Agency Act 1997 (Act No. 31 of 1997) that has been amended over the years, remains steadfast in its mission to ensure the rational and efficient use of imported petroleum-based energy sources, while encouraging where economically feasible and environmentally acceptable, increased utilization of indigenous new and renewable sources of energy, for instance, installations of solar PV systems.

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