Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips commissioned two solar mini-photovoltaic (PV) farms on Friday in the Hinterland communities of Annai and Karasabai located in the northern sub-district of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
During his address, Prime Minister Phillips emphasised the importance of energy in community development and highlighted the Government’s dedication to bridging the energy and digital divides in Guyana.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips with residents of Karasabai and other officials
“Energy means everything to us, the more energy we have, the more we can develop your community. So, from the Government standpoint, I am really happy to be here today to be part of the development of your community. Our Government is committed to bridging the energy divide, in the sense that we want to bring energy to every community in Guyana.”
The Solar PV Mini-grid installed in Annai is a 41.5kW (ground-mounted) PV Array comprising 83 – 505Wp solar PV modules. The system has 5–12kW hybrid inverters which control the charging of the 125.3kWh battery energy storage system.
The new solar farm in Annai, Region 9
Prime Minister Phillips also reopened the newly rehabilitated Annai Community Centre ground, which was completed at a cost of $5m through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, as well as the newly built ICT Hub under the Office of the Prime Minister’s ICT Access and E-Services for Hinterland, Poor, and Remote Communities Project.
He committed to having the ICT hub fully functional to assist residents in advancing their education through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) and other development avenues offered by the Government.
Moreover, Prime Minister Phillips assured residents of the Government’s commitment to working closely with regional and village councils to ensure continuous development in the region. He stressed the significance of ICT connectivity and internet access for all communities, promoting the idea of “One Guyana” with prosperity for all.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips with children in Annai
“We are committed to bringing development to your communities, we are committed to bridging the digital divide, because we feel that every community must have access to the internet, because the greater the access to the internet is the greater the possibility of integration of all our peoples into as I said before, ‘One Guyana’ – One People, One Nation, One destiny.”
In Karasabai, the Prime Minister reflected on the Government’s comprehensive approach to development and noted that the focus is on “bringing development to the people of Guyana”.
“Our programmes and projects are aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of all people.”
Further, he encouraged residents to utilise the new energy source to develop the cottage industry and increase production.
“You can invest in equipment that will utilise the energy to produce goods not only for your community but to sell. Whatever you want to produce in your village, so with increased energy resources, you can now increase your production to earn more money.”
Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Head of GEA Mahender Sharma
The newly commissioned Solar PV Mini-grid installed at Karasabai is a 46.5kW (ground-mounted) PV Array comprising 93 – 505Wp solar PV modules. The system has 5–12kW hybrid inverters which control the charging of the 141.41kWh battery energy storage.
Prime Minister Phillips also listened to the concerns affecting residents from both communities.
Meanwhile, Head of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), which is the lead agency for implementing solar farms, Dr Mahender Sharma, provided an overview of the projects and spoke of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
This shift, he said, aligns with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) as he urged responsible usage of the new Solar PV Mini-grid systems.
The mini-grid systems are configured as off-grid solar PV systems with battery energy storage systems with an associated electricity transmission and distribution network to link the communities’ public buildings.