No feasibility study, consultations carried out for delayed Mabaruma solar farm – Chairman

first_img– as GEA says project to be complete by this year endIt was supposed to have been commissioned since last year, but with its completion date revised to 2019, questions are being raised over how well planned and effective the Mabaruma solar farm will be.Region One Chairman Brentnol AshleyAn image of the solar farmIn an interview with Guyana Times, Region One Chairman Brentnol Ashley noted that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is unaware of any feasibility study having been done for the project, nor could he recall any substantive consultations with the community on the project.“A team would have visited my office as Regional Chairman and they would have related that they are there to seek the support of the RDC for the land space to construct the farm, because a farm was placed in the budget and an allocation was approved. So they asked for support in that manner, which we supported fully.”“Thereafter, there was no proper feedback or updates on what was happening at the farm, at the level of the RDC. It should have been commissioned since last year. But every time we’re hearing, in the next three months, in the next six months. And there’s no proper information being provided in writing or orally to the RDC.”While questions remain over exactly how the project was conceived, Ashley noted that from his enquiries, the project also has technical issues. According to the Chairman, there are challenges that include the storing of the solar energy, among other things.“We know they have a serious problem with compatibility. We are aware because the generator sets we have, were not constructed to deal with the eventuality of having such a project on board. We’re grateful for the project, but we’re concerned that hundreds of millions would have been spent but it will not provide the services it should to the people.”“Whatever project is being done by Government, any entity within a particular region, the RDC should receive a copy of the contractual agreement and the bills of quantity of that particular project, so we can help in the monitoring of that particular project while its being done. But we don’t have any such documentation. We’re at a loss when it comes to that.”Meanwhile, Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) head, Dr Mahender Sharma, who was at the time speaking at the Turkeyen and Tain talks, revealed that the project is expected to come on stream by this year end.“By the end of this year we would have installed more than five megawatts of new solar, on the rooftops of Government buildings and some hinterland locations and one of our first solar farms in Mabaruma.”However, Sharma alluded to the technical challenges that can be faced when looking to harness solar energy.“Five megawatts is a huge number in just a few years. But what’s wrong with solar? It’s not continuous. You engineers will tell you it’s not dispatchable. Its only there for a few hours and to capture it requires quote a bit of technology. You have to find a way to store it. And batteries are a big problem. They are still very expensive.”last_img read more

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Gallery: All-year sunshine in KwaZulu-Natal

first_imgKwaZulu-Natal has it all: a long coastline of beautiful beaches, rolling green midlands inland, a wealth of African culture, the magnificent Drakensberg range of mountains, and game reserves stocked with the Big Five – all to be enjoyed with 320 days of sunshine a year. The Amphitheatre in the Drakensberg Mountains. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park is a Unesco World Heritage Site. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Compiled by Mary AlexanderA thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.KwaZulu-Natal offers a heady mix of cultural, historical and natural attractions. Durban is a seaside city with Blue Flag beaches, and entertainment and activities of all kinds.The province also has deep and varied cultural heritage – once home to the legendary King Shaka, it has one of the largest Indian communities outside India, and a strong British colonial heritage. You’ll see this rich mix of cultures on the streets of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal’s major cities.The Durban waterfront at sunset. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A surfing lesson at Addington Beach in Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A dolphin performs for tourists at uShaka Sea World, part of the uShaka Marine World development in Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Rolling sugarcane fields, a signature landscape of KwaZulu-Natal. (Image: Brand South Africa)Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban was built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Bungee jumping from the roof of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Nelson Mandela Capture Site, outside, commemorates the statesman’s arrest in August 1962 at a roadblock near the KwaZulu-Natal town of Howick. Mandela would spend the next 28 years in jail. He was released in February 1990. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Durban yacht basin, with the city’s central business district skyline behind. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The historic city hall in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. (Image: Brand South Africa)Traditional Zulu dancing. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)An Indian spice shop in Durban offers a range of delights. Durban has the country’s largest population of Indian South Africans, making it the largest “Indian” city outside of India itself. (Image: Brand South Africa)Panoramic view of the 18-hole golf course at the Champagne Sports Resort in the Central Drakensberg. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A colourful mural at the Durban Snake and Reptile Park. (Image: Brand South Africa)A traditional homestead in Zululand. (Image: Brand South Africa)Karkloof Canopy Tours in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands takes visitors on a zipline adventure through the second-largest indigenous forest in South Africa. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The beach and lighthouse in Umhlanga, north of Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Umhlanga pier, north of Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Schoolchildren get a lesson in the aquarium at uShaka Marine World in Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Bioluminescent jellyfish in a display tank at the uShaka Marine World aquarium in Durban. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)last_img read more

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