Georgetown, January 2018: In the latter part of December 2017, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), through a project financed by the Government of Guyana,installed twelve (12) integrated 80W solar powered street lights around the Stabroek Market Square and 750 energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs aroundthe eastern facade of the building.

The integrated solar powered street lights that were installed use renewable energy from the sun to charge the batteries which provide lighting at nights using energy efficient LED lights. The lights are controlled by a light sensitive circuit to switch the lights on in the evenings and turn them off at dawn. As part of the energy conservation features of the initiative, the technology dims the lights by 50% when motion is not detected and returns to 100% brightness when motion is detected. Oneadvantage of the systems is that they are not powered by the utility, thereby avoiding the use of fossil-based energy from the grid and the associated costs.

The second component of the project was the replacement of the seven hundred and fifty (750) 13 Watts compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps that outlined the eastern façade of the Market, with 7-Watts LED bulbs. Mr. Kenny Samaroo, the lead Engineer on the project, explained that “…the LED technology is more efficient than CFL and the change out will result in almost 50 % reduction in energy consumed…”

Based on the existing Street Lights Tariff, the 12 solar powered street lights will result in annual energy savings of about 4,205 kWh, resultant annual cost savings of about G$184,170 and 2,523 kg of avoided CO2. The computed simple payback, when compared to a similar installation using utility powered 80W LED lamps, is 6 years. While the second component of the intervention will result in annual energy savings of about 19,710 kWh, resultant annual cost savings of about G$1,321,950 and 11,826 kg of avoided CO2. The computed simple payback is 1.6 years.

Mr. Samaroo explained that “…the initiative was in keeping with the Agency’s mandate to carry out research into all sources of energy, including those sources presently used in Guyana, for the generation of energy and securing more efficient utilisation of energy and sources of energy…”.

CEO of GEA, Dr. Mahender Sharma further added that “… the project wascompleted at a total cost of nine million six hundred and eleven thousand dollars ($9,611,000) and was in keeping with the Government of Guyana’s ‘Green Initiative’ which is in keeping with the Agency’s vision to provide reliable energy in an environmentally, socially and sustainable framework”.

The Guyana Energy Agency will continue to monitor the installations and provide technical support and maintenance.