The Guyana National Park is now further enhanced, following the installation of 45 integrated standalone solar powered 80-watt Light Emitted Diode (LED) street lights, which are intended to promote safety as well as cut cost.
The $8.1M venture, funded by the United Kingdom’s Prosperity Fund and undertaken by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), is in keeping with the agency’s mandate of securing more efficient utilisation of energy and sources of power.
At a simple unveiling ceremony yesterday, at the National Park, GEA’s Head, Dr. Mahender Sharma said it represents significant savings for the National Park, which amount to approximately $2.8M annually, along with 30 tonnes of CO2 emissions being avoided and a simple payback period of four years. The CEO highlighted that, currently, Guyana is a part of the International Solar Alliance and a roadmap addressing the effective and economical use of solar energy is being developed.
The project involved the replacement of mercury vapour lamps rated at 250 watts, with the more energy efficient 80-watt solar power LED. The solar lights are designed to dim by 50 percent when no motion is detected and return to 100 percent brightness when motion is detected. The lights are advantageous since they avoid the use of fossil-based energy from the grid and are not affected by power failures.
Protected Areas Commission, Commissioner, Denise Fraser expressed gratitude on behalf of the Protected Areas Commission (PAC) and National Park Commission (NPC). She stated that the approximately $2.8M savings from the new lights can be directed towards to the National Park’s maintenance and rehabilitation.
British High Commissioner, H.E. Greg Quinn noted that the project will significantly benefit those who utilise the Park for exercise or even recreational activities. He said, “I hope that people will get out there take advantage of it, continue to exercise…this should be a model for many other countries.”
Department of Environment at the Ministry of the Presidency representative, Sandra Britton stated that the government is happy to scale up renewable energy in Guyana especially since it’s on the verge of developing a green state.
“The GSDS is based on six pillars of which energy is one of the main components and with that Guyana will be transitioning to renewable energy independence in the future. This project is a clear indication of Guyana’s commitment towards a green economy,” Britton explained.
Urban parks such as the National Park, Zoological Park, Botanical Garden and the Joe Vieira Park along with Hinterland Protected Areas, Kaieteur National Park, Shelter Beach Protected Area, Kanuku Mountain Protected Area, Iwokrama (though not managed by PAC) all fall under the National Protected Area System.