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Amerindians to pay maintenance cost for solar electricity systems

Amerindian communities could by September begin receiving electricity supply from 11,000 65 watts solar home systems but they will have to pay a monthly maintenance fee.

The Government said the fund will be managed by the Village Council which will be responsible for the operations of the Solar Home Systems.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) did not say whether this aspect of the Low Carbon Development Strategy’s (LCDS) hinterland electrification programme will be funded out of the US$70 million that Norway is paying Guyana so far to keep its standing forests.

The Norwegian government last month told a number Guyanese, who had penned a number of concerns to Oslo-based authorities, that the Guyana REDD Investment Fund’s steering committee had not yet received a project proposal for the supply of solar panels for low-wattage household electricty

Cabinet, according to the state-run information agency, has approved the procurement of the solar systems following an international bidding process that saw 40 expressions of interest.

The programme will cover all components of the Solar Home System, including installation costs, transportation, wiring, light fittings and maintenance and management training.

Each community will appoint persons to be trained in the installation, operations and maintenance of the Solar Home Systems. Training is expected to begin in late August and installation to commence in late September.

“The programme will rectify this long-pervading inequity by providing access to clean and renewable energy throughout hinterland communities and significantly contribute to Guyana’s overall Low Carbon Development Strategy,” the agency said.

Authorities say the solar system will provide each home with power for lighting, small household appliances, such as a sewing machine to generate income, and radios, enhancing the communication capacity of these communities.

The programme is being executed by the Hinterland Electrification Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, serving as overall project Coordinator in collaboration with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.

Source: Demerara Waves



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