Govt mulls possible investment in wind energy at Leguan – GEA Head

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Government is actively studying the wind potential in the country to decide on possible investments in this source of renewable energy.

This was revealed by the Head of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Mahendra Sharma during a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Services.

“Guyana, we’ve been looking at wind for some time. The coast of Guyana generally is favourable but the wind speeds aren’t as attractive as we want them. But what has happened on the technological front is that turbines have become more efficient at converting that energy from wind power to electricity. So, we are looking at this and GEA has established and is actively collecting wind data,” Sharma disclosed.

However, he explained that it will take some time before a decision on investing in wind energy can be made.

“You need to spend at least 12 months to collect that data before you can make an investment decision and that involves acquiring wind measuring towers and anemometers at multiple levels and collecting that data consistently over 12 months and it is on that basis that you can decide on the level of wind insertion.”

“So, we’re doing this, we’re about to set up one on the East Coast (of Demerara) and we have already started collecting some wind data at Leguan actually, and we believe that that could be a site for wind opportunities,” the GEA Head added.

Back in 2025 the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government had approved the detailed examination of a proposal by Guyana Wind Farm Incorporated (GWF) for a 26-megawatt wind energy plant at Hope Beach, East Coast Demerara.

Back then, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had reported that investors had secured their financing for the project, which proposes a US$0.12 fee per kilowatt hour.

Then under the PPP/C Government in 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had approved for construction of the US$45M Hope Wind Farm Project.

The project was earmarked to be located on a 27-acre state-owned lease at Hope Beach (HB), and private leases at Chapman’s Grove (CHG), some 28km and 30km, respectively, South East of Georgetown centre.  In 2023, Dr Frederick Sukhdeo, a consultant with Hope Wind Energy Incorporated, had stated that the project would be a publicly traded venture that would open up opportunities for anyone in Guyana to buy shares.

The start-up of this project remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, the PPP Administration has already made significant investments in solar energy as well as hydropower.

When it comes to hydropower, the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) has dominated local conversations for years and despite setbacks, the current administration is still actively pursuing investments in that project.

One of the major projects being pursued by the government towards achieving cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy is the Gas-to-Energy (GTE) project.

The scope of Guyana’s gas-to-energy project consists of the construction of 225 kilometres of pipeline from the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, where ExxonMobil and its partners are currently producing oil.

It features approximately 200 kilometres of a subsea pipeline offshore that will run from Liza Destiny and Liza Unity floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Stabroek Block to the shore. Upon landing on the West Coast Demerara shore, the pipeline would continue for approximately 25 kilometres to the NGL plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara.

In last year’s national budget, the project received a $43.3 billion allocation in addition to the $24.6 billion injected into the start-up of the transformational project, for the construction of an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) Plant and the 300-megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant at Wales, WBD.

Between 2020 and 2023, investments have also been increased in clean renewable energy. Some 173 per cent increase in installed solar PV capacity – from 5.3 megawatts to 14.6 megawatts – has been recorded throughout Guyana.

For this year, work will commence on a 10-megawatt solar farm in Berbice, an eight-megawatt solar farm in Essequibo, and a 0.6-megawatt solar farm in Leguan. The Government would be spending $4.8 billion to finance these projects.

Solar power generation increased with the commissioning of a 1.5MW solar farm in Bartica in 2023, while works have been advanced on the 0.65-megawatt solar farm in Mahdia. The latter will be completed within the first quarter of this year.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids have also been installed in 21 communities in 2023, among which are Baramita, Capoey, Kwebana, Orealla, and Siparuta. These mini-grid systems now provide renewable electricity to 285 public and community buildings.

In 2024, over $350 million has been budgeted for new mini-grid systems in several areas, including Awarewaunau, Katoka, Maruranau, Nappi, and Yupukari.

At the household level in the off-grid hinterland and riverine communities, 26,398 solar panels were delivered, bringing electricity to many of those homes for the very first time. In 2024, a further 3,602 solar panels will be distributed.