Georgetown, April 2019: The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), with support from the Canadian High Commission in Georgetown, under a grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), supervised the installation of nine (9) integrated stand-alone solar powered 80W Light Emitted Diode (LED) street lights at the Guyana National Park.

At a cost of two million, four hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars (G$2,465,000), the project aims to provide patrons who access the National Park through the parking area and those who use the Tennis Court and the Children’s Play area with lighting using a renewable energy source to help enhance their safety and security.

Integrated solar powered lights use renewable energy from the sun to charge the batteries within the fixture – which provides a source for lighting at nights. The lights are controlled by a light sensitive and timer-controlled circuit to automatically 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. The lights are fully powered by solar thus avoiding the use of electricity generated by fossil fuels. Accordingly, the lights are not affected by utility failures.

The installation is in keeping with GEA’s mandate to develop and encourage the development and utilization of sources of energy other than sources presently in use and securing more efficient utilization of energy and sources of energy. It is estimated that with the installation of these lights a total of 9,855kWh of energy and 5,913kg of CO2 emissions annually will be avoided through this investment. This translates to over GY$560,000 yearly in electricity costs avoided. The simple payback on this investment is about four (4) years.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Energy Agency, Dr. Mahender Sharma stated that GEA provided technical, project preparation, supervision and implementation support towards the successful completion of the installation. Dr. Sharma also reminded that in 2018, the National Park, with support from the British High Commission, had benefited from a grant from the UK’s Prosperity Fund for the installation of 45 solar-powered lights.

GEA’s CEO expressed sincere gratitude to Her Excellency, the Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee, and her staff for their support in making it possible to provide renewable energy and efficient lighting to the users of the National Park. The CEO also thanked Ms. Denise Fraser, Commissioner, Protected Areas Commission and the staff of the National Park for the support throughout the Project’s implementation.

The Canadian High Commissioner, H.E Ms. Lilian Chatterjee stated “I would like to commend the Guyana Energy Agency for spearheading this initiative to illuminate public spaces with solar powered LED lights. It is innovative and it is the future of clean energy sources. Canada is pleased to have supported this project through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives”.

The Guyana Energy Agency, in keeping with the Green State Development Strategy, will continue to implement and spearhead such projects as part of the realization of the Agency’s objective to scale up solar power and other forms of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.