28 Nov 2012

Rupununi renewable solar project commissioned

0 Comment

The German Company, Eerepami in collaboration with the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) and other local counterparts have constructed and installed a 20 kilowatt-peak combined wind and solar system at the Bina Hill Institute, Region Nine.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds officially commissioned the $30 million renewable solar energy project on Friday that seeks to improve the development opportunities in Bina Hill and other surrounding communities by the major obstacle to development, widespread shortage of energy resource.

GINA quoted Prime Minister Samuel Hinds as saying that he was pleased to be able to attend the occasion and be part of a project that has the potential to transform the lives of the people of the district. He extended gratitude to Eerepami for its continued partnership.

“I want to extend on behalf of the government and people of Guyana, and on behalf of the people here too, I want to join the captain (toshao) in extending our thanks for the help that we have been getting from this German-based NGO… I am responsible for energy, so I have a particular interest in trying to bring and encourage others to help in this area in particular,” he said.

The prime minister said that the project that will provide electricity that is indispensable to the educational, health, trade and commerce sectors of the district will ensure that the North Rupununians make their contribution to the economy.
“The people of North Rupununi have… a particular contribution to make that no one else could make, and Guyana would be less rich if this contribution is not made,” he said.

More changes will be forthcoming in Rupununi as government works with different partners to bring greater relief to Guyanese, among which is the introduction of a large scale grid feed by photovoltaic, wind and other renewable energy, he said.

Eerepami’s Chairman Robert Spitzer said that the project dates back about seven years when his organisation first partnered with NRDDB and installed a one-kilowatt solar system in Bina Hill.

Spitzer said that putting in place of the 20 kilowatt-system is a logical step in keeping with the demand for energy in the district. The old system that would have faithfully served Bina Hill is being transferred to Rewa, another Region Nine village as it will help to make the tourism there a little more eco-friendly. Rewa is community known for its abundance of fish and the Tourism Ministry has been promoting sport fishing in the area.

Spitzer said that this project is the biggest Eerepami has ever done in Guyana and the organisation is thankful to the many partners that helped make it a reality.

Recently the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry received $7.8 million in support from the organisation to improve the delivery of training offered to students at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), Onderneeming, Region Two.

The German government supplied about 50 per cent of the finance and a number of partnering companies including Solarwatt, and SMS Solar Technology donated components for the project. Solarwatt produced the solar panel.

Honorary Consul of Germany to Guyana, Ben ter Welle said the occasion marked another special day in the relationship between the two countries, and is just an example of the many partnerships in shared ideas and concepts for the development and benefit of both countries.

Story originally published by the Guyana Times