The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) says it successfully energized a new 13.8 kV submarine cable across the Demerara River linking the Vreed-en-Hoop and Kingston power plants on Tuesday.
On June 2, GPL’s 69 kV cable sustained damages which resulted in the unavailability of 14 MW of generation to the eastern half of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).
GPL immediately developed an emergency plan to reduce outages, which included the laying of a new 13.8 kV cable across the Demerara River to make up for a portion of the shortfall in generating capacity in the eastern DBIS.
The new 13.8 kV cable is currently providing over 5 MW of power to the Eastern DBIS. It spans approximately 4,000 feet from Princess Street, Georgetown, to the GPL power station at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara.
Additionally, two small generating units, with an aggregate capacity of 2 MW, were returned from Anna Regina to boost generation during peak demand.
Further, one of GPL’s second largest units, with a capacity of 7.8 MW, is back in operation after being unavailable for planned maintenance.
With the new cable in operation, daily scheduled load shedding was discontinued. However, customers on the West Bank and West Coast Demerara may experience periods of service interruptions as the Vreed-en-Hoop plant, which is now operating in an isolated mode, is not as stable as when it was interconnected to the rest of the DBIS.
Additionally, the inadequate reserve capacity which has been exacerbated by the absence of the 69 kV cable, may result in generation shortfall and periodic service interruptions in the Eastern DBIS.
Remedial works to repair the damaged 69 kV cable are progressing. GPL is working closely with the contractor to expeditiously complete repairs and have the cable back in operation in the shortest possible time.
The routing and laying of the new 13.8 kV cable were successfully achieved with support from the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), Gaico Construction Services, and staff from GPL’s Project Management Department, Engineering Services, System Planning and Designs, Network Operations and System Control, and Engineering Services departments.
The power company said despite the inclement weather, the planting of new poles and the construction of additional overhead line sections were completed within a few days.
Plans are in place to bury the cable at least three meters beneath the riverbed. The safety of the cable from potential damage due to oceangoing vessels will be monitored by MARAD, GPL added.
GPL says it will continue to pursue opportunities for funding and support to address inadequacies in electricity supply.