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3 small hydropower stations currently under construction in hinterland areas – GEA Head

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In a bid to realise the country’s renewable energy potential, the government is currently in the process of constructing three small hydropower stations in hinterland regions.
During a recent interview on the podcast, Energy Perspectives, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Dr Mahendra Sharma spoke about Guyana’s low carbon development strategy 2030 which sets out some transformational projects to meet the country’s electricity demand.

CEO, GEA,
Dr Mahendra Sharma

Sharma noted that Guyana currently has 8.5 gigawatts of hydropower potential from thirty-three hydropower plants across the country to meet the country’s electricity demand.
“Our peak demand in the country is about 185 megawatts and growing so to put 8.5 gigawatts into context, 8.5 gigawatts is 8,500 megawatts while our peak demand is only 185 megawatts so we are talking about the demand here vs the supply capability at a very different level so 8.5 gigawatts is a lot of power.”
In this regard, he disclosed that the GEA is currently constructing three small hydropower stations across the country including a 150-kilowatt hydro station at Kato in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) which is being constructed by the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. (HECI) and should be completed by the end of 2024.
Similarly, two others are being constructed at Moco-Moco and Kumu in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). These stations will be able to produce 0.7 megawatts and 1.5 megawatts respectively and according to Dr Sharma, the GEA is directly responsible for these projects.

The falls in Kato that will be used for the hydro project

The contacts for these projects were signed in 2022 and construction works commenced in 2023 with both at about 58 per cent completed. The GEA anticipates that these projects will also be completed by the end of 2024.
Further, Dr Sharma highlighted that with the completion of these two new hydropower stations, Lethem will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.”
“We’re quite excited about both of those, what they mean for Lethem, what they mean for the people of Lethem is that they will have the first true hybrid system where they have a 1megawatt solar farm operating with two hydro stations being supported by diesel backups. Lethem can be 100 per cent renewable energy powered for the foreseeable future” he stated.
Meanwhile, in November 2022 the GEA signed contracts to distribute some 30,000 solar home systems, these systems were donated mainly to hinterland and riverine communities.
According to Sharma to date 29,416 solar home energy systems have been distributed across Hinterland and Riverine communities. Additionally, some 31 solar mini-grids have been installed across the country, the installation of these mini-grids equipped multiple facilities such as schools and health centers with electricity.

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