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(From left) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Guyana, David Patterson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guyana, Karen Cummings, Japan’s Ambassador to CARICOM and Guyana H.E. Tatsuo HIRAYAMA (Photo: caricom.org)

CARICOM Secretariat launches solar project for Guyana headquarter

(From left) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Guyana, David Patterson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guyana, Karen Cummings, Japan’s Ambassador to CARICOM and Guyana H.E. Tatsuo HIRAYAMA (Photo: caricom.org)

Ground was broken for the official start of a project that will see the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s headquarters in Guyana generate all its electricity needs.

The project, which is being funded by Japan, will see the creation of a photovoltaic power generation system at CARICOM’s Secretariat in the capital, Georgetown.

Japan will provide US$16 million in funding for the project which is expected to be completed by September.

“I’m more than happy to be here at the CARICOM headquarters whose building we have partly contributed to funding and to break ground for a project to make the same building completely renewable energy oriented…”

– Ambassador of Japan to Guyana and CARICOM, Tatsuo Hirayama

Components of the project include the installation of 400 kilowatt of solar photovoltaic power generator to provide electricity to the Secretariat building; a battery and power conditioning system for energy storage and power quality regulation; and an advanced building energy management system to, among other things, provide air conditioning controls and track energy efficiency and indoor air quality, said the regional body.

Organisation of the project is being handled by CARICOM’s Energy Committee, which is led by its Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan.

CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana Government and Japanese Government officials among the audience at the ground-breaking ceremony. (Photo: caricom.org)

CARICOM’s Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said yesterday’s ceremony was a milestone for CARICOM and the Asian nation. “I well recall the green buildings initiative and the first Energy Audit of the Secretariat in 2010 which laid the initial groundwork for the journey that has brought us here today pursuing energy efficiency.

It was an initiative fully supported by the Executive Management of the Secretariat, who urged that our headquarters should be a green building as an example to other public buildings in the Community.”

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Ceremony
(Photo: caricom.org)

The Secretariat was built by the Guyanese government with financial assistance from Japan.

For his part, the ambassador of Japan to Guyana and CARICOM, Tatsuo Hirayama, said it was heartening to see Guyana’s focus on using renewable energy even with its recent oil discoveries.

CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karen Cummings, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Ambassador of Japan to Guyana and CARICOM, HE Tatsua Hirayama turn the sod to begin construction of a Photovoltaic Power Generation System at CARICOM HQ. (Photo: dpi.gov.gy)

“I’m more than happy to be here at the CARICOM headquarters whose building we have partly contributed to funding and to break ground for a project to make the same building completely renewable energy oriented, this is another huge milestone in the partnership between Japan and CARICOM”, Hirayama said.