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Private company seeking permission to build US$10M solar farm on Linden-Soesdyke Highway

Proposed location of the Loo Creek solar project

As Guyana continues its trajectory towards the use of more renewable energy in the power grid, a private company is looking to build a 5.8 Megawatt (MW) solar farm on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway and has approached the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval.

According to the project documents, the Loo Creek Solar Farm is being built by Caiman Industries Environmental, which they said is currently under incorporation. The almost US$10 million solar farm, which will include solar panels, batteries, generators and a site control office, will be located 20 kilometres north of Linden.

“Once built, the facility will be able to provide a maximum of 5.8 MW of uninterrupted electrical power, 24 hours a day, to anyone within a 10 km radius and can eventually be connected to a power grid when one becomes available, in the area,” the company stated.
To construct the solar farm, it was explained that they will be clearing an estimated 40 acres of existing forest adjacent to the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. The land, according to the company, is leased and in the names of two directors of Caiman Industries. It will take 14 months from land preparation to start-up.

“The Loo Creek Solar Farm Project area is proposed to cover approximately 10.1 hectares. All construction and waste generation activities will be conducted on site therefore there will be no impact to nearby countries and only temporary environmental impacts to the surrounding geographic area beyond the project boundaries.”

“The majority of the negative environmental impacts will only occur during the build phase of the project and once the facility is built, all acute environmentally harmful activities shall cease. Furthermore, there will be no cumulative impacts as the energy production has very few by-products that require disposal,” the company also said.

According to Caiman Industries, the chance of any significant local or regional environmental impacts will be minimal due to the low quantities of wastes generated and by the limited number of natural resources required to build and sustain the facility.
The company said that they have contacted the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to notify them of their intention to build. They also assured that within the next two months, overtures will be made to the Office of Prime Minister, Guyana Lands and Surveys and the municipal council for the Loo Creek area.

Only a few months ago, the Government had commissioned a $625 million 1.5 megawatts (MW) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Farm in Daag Point, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), to provide clean, renewable energy to over 3000 residents of Bartica and its surrounding communities.

Prime Minister, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips, who has oversight of the energy sector, had described the project as evidence of the Government’s dedication to the low-carbon future envisioned in the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which accelerates the use of natural gas as a transitional fuel between heavy fuel oil and solar, hydropower, wind, and biomass.

Designed to accommodate increased levels of solar PV penetration as Bartica’s load grows, the 1.5 MW solar PV farm will generate and supply a total of 1988 MWh to the grid, at maximum capacity. This will result in an estimated annual reduction of 4500 drums of diesel consumption and a 1.5-million-kilogram reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. This project is also projected to save Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) some $210 million annually.

The Prime Minister had also said that the success of the solar farm would encourage the increase of solar and hydro projects throughout the country, with plans in place to establish micro-solar projects at Waramadong, Jawalla and Paruima by the end of May, 2023. At the time, the Prime Minister had also projected that Guyana would see an increase in solar farm projects, including private ones.