Georgetown : Stable electricity distribution during the upcoming holiday season is high on the agenda for the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL). Efforts have been intensified to ensure that citizens receive satisfactory and quality electricity distribution during the holiday season, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GPL, Renford Homer said.
Homer noted that the power company currently has adequate generation capacity which will cater for the peak demand whilst still having a reserve amount for emergencies.
“We have a generation capacity of approximately 130 megawatts and expect a peak demand of 115 or 116 megawatts, not exceeding 117 megawatts. This gives us a reserve of approximately 13 megawatts,” Homer explained.
The Kingston machine is out for maintenance and is expected to be in operation shortly. Homer said the machine has a capacity of approximately 7.9 megawatts and when operational will boost the company’s generation during the holiday season and even further into 2018 to meet the growing demand.
While providing clarification on the frequent spate of blackouts towards the end of July and in the middle of September, Homer revealed that this was as a result of GPL losing some of its bigger engines through mechanical failure.
He underlined that “there was a fair amount of concerns among consumers because we had reported that we were experiencing a generation shortfall, but we had to have the alternator on one of the engines, which is 6.9 megawatts, removed and shipped to Miami and it took a long time for it to be repaired.”
Further, during routines checks, GPL identified signs of corona discharge on a second engine of similar size, which suggested there was a loss of electricity. This resulted in the power company taking precautionary measures to bring it out of service and to have a specialised team assess and make the necessary repairs, Homer stated.
Additionally, there were also minor failures at the Garden of Eden location and the largest of the three engines at the Skeldon Energy Incorporated (which is 5 megawatts) was also out of service for planned maintenance during that period.
These issues resulted in the power company losing close to 20 megawatts which significantly impacted available and reserved capacity, “so we entered into a regime of broadcasted low shedding schedules and that caused discomfort,” Homer explained.
However, towards the end of September, most of GPL’s generators returned to normalcy and the power company is now in a better position for the holiday season.