Guyana signs a multi-million dollar agreement with IDB

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Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh signed the agreement with IDB Resident Representative (ag) Lorena Solorzano-Salazar (Ministry of Finance photo)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana–Guyana has signed a US$83.3 million agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), paving the way for investments in eight utility-scale photovoltaic solar projects (PSV) that would bring affordable and clean energy to targeted communities in the country.

The Ministry of Finance said the agreement was signed under the Guyana Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Programme (GUYS).

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, signed the agreement with the acting IDB Resident Representative, Lorena Solorzano-Salazar.

According to the statement, the US$83.3 million is part of the US$220.8 million earned by Guyana for forest climate services through its partnership with Norway for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

It said that the funds earned from Norway have since been invested in several essential adaptations and socio-economic projects identified as part of the LCDs.

Prime Minister Mark Phillips said that the program, once implemented, will benefit thousands of people in the country, including women in rural areas. He said it would also assist Guyana Power & Light Inc (GPL) in decreasing fossil fuel use and moving to greater use of renewable energy.

“So it is a transformative project for Guyana. We are thankful that the IDB has been working side by side with Guyana to utilize this money that was lying in an account for over six years, and we are thankful for them bringing us to the stage at which we are,” the Prime Minister added.

Before signing the agreement, Singh reflected on the history of the LCDs.

“This allocation of over US$80 million has its roots in the original Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Guyana REDD Plus Investment Fund, which was established under the original LCDs, and at the time, these resources were set aside to invest in renewable energy with the IDB as the implementing partner entity.

“This amount was originally intended as the government’s contribution to the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project. We had at that time a major investor, the Blackstone Group, who was willing to do the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project. Still, political events intervened because that project was stalled and ultimately derailed, and for more than five years, these resources ended up being parked in the IDB,” Singh said.

Solorzano-Salazar said this operation is framed within Guyana’s partnership with Norway and will mainly take the country to 19 percent renewables of the grid within about three years, so this is an important milestone.

“This aligns with a kind of transformative change that is fully aligned with the IDB Vision 2025 and positive impacts of renewables ….and augers well for Guyana.”

The statement said the program’s objective is to support the diversification of Guyana’s energy matrix towards using cleaner and renewable energy sources in the electricity generation matrix.

“The program seeks especially to avoid CO 2 emissions with the development of solar PV generation plants and lower the cost of electricity generation while supporting the country’s transition towards renewable energy-based generation, and improve the operation and reliability of the isolated systems of Essequibo and Linden.”

The program will make investments in solar photovoltaic plants in the Berbice area, the Essequibo Coast, and Linden.

“Each facility will be connected to the 13.8 kV primary distribution network in the respective areas. The program will provide 27,000 households with affordable, clean energy and is expected to benefit over 70 000 households,” the statement added.

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