You are here: HomeCountriesGuyana

Guyana Updates

04.30.2013 - Solar installation material available - Earlier this month IHFI completed the installation of solar PV systems at rural health facilities in Guyana.  Find an overview of the installation and local technician training as well as a photo slideshow of the process and the system's user's manual.


03.25.2013 - Solar installations begin - PV installations at hinterland health clinics are scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.  These remote installations will be supervised and inspected by IHFI team members.  Clinic staff will be trained in proper system maintenance and provided a maintenance guide, as well as support from system installers in Guyana.  Look for installation and training reports soon.


09.26.2012 - Guyana solar bidding update - IHFI just completed open bidding for the procurement and installation of turnkey solar power systems for remote clinics in Guyana. Complete bid specifications were developed for each of the two standard solar systems designed by IHFI specifically for Guyana.


08.29.2012 - HOMER solar design - The IHFI team recently completed the design of two standardized solar systems to be deployed at small clinics in rural Guyana; see models of the system sites. The systems were optimized with using the HOMER software package, accounting for Guyana's tropical, cloudy climate and the electrical loads observed on site. Powering Health's HOMER Load Calculation and System Optimization Tool sizes energy systems that incorporate diesel generators, solar PV panels and battery banks.


07.31.2012 - Georgetown Hospital Energy Audit - An energy audit at Guyana's Georgetown Public Hospital doubles as a training exercise as part of IHFI's efforts to expand energy efficiency and institutional capacity in the country, see the story here.


Sites in Guyana

Scroll over locations pin-pointed on the map for a description of ongoing work under the Improving Health Facility Infrastructure (IHFI) project and links to relevant materials.

The Challenge in Guyana

Patients wait to see a nurse at Arakaka health outpost in western Guyana. (Photo: Ujjwal Bhattacharjee)

The acquisition of reliable and affordable power poses a challenge to many health facilities in developing countries, especially those in remote rural areas. This is the case in Guyana where USAID has been assisting the PEPFAR program and Guyana's Ministry of Health in assessing options for improving energy services in health facilities through the Improving Health Facility Infrastructure (IHFI) project. A number of needs assessments undertaken by USAID and the IHFI project over the last several years have observed that health facilities in general suffer from inadequate energy services due to:

  1. intermittent, poor or unavailable grid electricity
  2. Improper design and installation of solar systems
  3. poor quality and improper maintenance of solar PV installations at rural off-grid clinics
  4. equipment theft and pilferage

All these issues either in isolation or in combination endanger the sustainability of energy infrastructure for health facilities.

Discussions with the Ministry of Health, other local stakeholders and USAID/Guyana suggest that programmatic efforts are needed to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of energy infrastructure for the health services. For larger hospitals the need to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency improvement interventions was identified. For remote health facilities without access to electricity, provisions for energy services are essential to improve and expand basic health services to the local population. Read further to learn more about IHFI's efforts in Guyana.


Stakeholder Engagement

guyana - workshop
Representatives from the Government of Guyana, USAID, and other Guyanese stakeholders take part in an energy efficiency workshop in Georgetown, Guyana. (Photo: Ujjwal Bhattacharjee)

Solar photovoltaic energy systems have been implemented by the Government of Guyana for health clinics, schools and homes through a number of projects funded locally and by international donors. In order to build on those previous experiences and learn from the success and shortfalls of prior interventions, IHFI is working closely with the Ministry of Health, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and local energy professionals to achieve the long-term sustainability of solar installations and energy efficiency measures.

One of the greatest challenges to ensuring solar system longevity in rural Guyana has been a shortage of technical, financial and institutional support. Remote health clinics are typically located in underserved communities which are difficult for technicians to reach. The IHFI project's partnership with the GEA is a critical part of improving support to solar installations. First, it provides valuable local knowledge which in turn improves project design and its implementation. Second, the GEA's engagement from project conception to completion will help them develop capacity which will ensure sustainability of the solar PV systems in the long run and replication of project concepts in Guyana once the IHFI project work ends.


Energy Efficiency for Large Hospitals

In the more populated coastal regions of Guyana grid electricity is available (although the cost of electricity is very high i.e. more than 30 US Cents/kWh). For large hospitals in cities, like Georgetown Public Hospital located in Guyana's capital, reducing electricity consumption though energy conservation is eminent. . IHFI is using a pilot energy audit at Georgetown Public as an opportunity to train members of the GEA, the hospital faculty, the University of Guyana and others on energy auditing protocols, energy efficiency measures and the financial and technical analysis of energy efficiency retrofits. This combination energy audit and training event, and a corresponding workshop for government officials and local practitioners, has resulted in an investment grade audit for Georgetown Public Hospital and an increased capacity at the GEA to replicate similar audits around the country.

See photos of the audit in our Georgetown Public Hospital Audit slideshowGPHparticipantsprimeminmaintlogsleakyAHUthermoACtransformersairfuelmixworkshopwsquestionworkshopparticipants

The full audit report can be found here: Georgetown Hospital Energy Audit


Energy Assessments of Rural Health Facilities

guyana - solar panels
Solar panels properly mounted at a health clinic in Matthew's Ridge, rural Guyana. (Photo: Ujjwal Bhattacharjee)

Through consultations with the Ministry of Health, the IHFI project created a priority list of remote health clinics that may serve as suitable sites for solar installations. For a number of these sites, energy assessments have been undertaken. These assessments detail the energy needs of each clinic and carefully examine the existing solar PV installations to better understand the factors impacting system sustainability. Among the problems encountered were poor design and installation of solar systems and a lack of local capacity or a system for oversight and maintenance. These considerations play a large role in the design of both the forthcoming systems themselves and the institutional arrangements put in place to support them.

View the Guyana Clinic Assessments photo slideshowMRH (35)MRH (88)MRH (79)MRH (1)Baramita (31)Baramita (11)Baramita (18)Baramita (6)Baramita (47)Baramita (51)Baramita (50)Arakaka (42)Arakaka (28)Arakaka (24)Arakaka (49)Arakaka (41)


PV System Installations for Remote Clinics

The IHFI project is targeting around 10 remote health clinics for the installation of solar PV systems, including battery banks and diesel generator interconnection. The design of these systems is focused on ensuring longevity by accounting for past local experiences in installing and maintaining PV systems. Specifically, these experiences are addressed through: Standard PV system design - With information garnered during the energy assessments, a generic profile of health clinics in Guyana can be developed which characterizes the basic energy needs common to the clinics. From this profile a standard PV system design is created, which specifies all components, including the PV modules, inverters, batteries, wiring and other balance of system materials. This practice helps to ensure system sustainability by providing a common set of materials and protocols for vendors, technicians and end-users.

See 3D models of PV installations for each of the specific sites where IHFI is working in Guyana in our slideshow, Guyana Health Clinic PV DesignsArakaka Health CenterBaramita Health CenterItabali Health CenterKwebana Health CenterMatthew's Ridge District HospitalParamakatoi Health CenterTumatumari Health Post

Find complete designs and specifications for IHFI's PV systems in Guyana here: Guyana Solar Bidding Specifications


Capacity Building and Training

Audit instructor shows a local technician how to adjust the air mixture on a boiler. (Photo: Ujjwal Bhattacharjee)

The IHFI project emphasizes ensuring system sustainability through capacity building and training. IHFI's training activities in Guyana are carried out in cooperation with the GEA and primarily target technicians, facility managers, and other local stakeholders through solar system maintenance workshops and an energy auditing training course and workshop for Georgetown Public Hospital. These training exercises will help to ensure that the proper knowledge and management is in place to maintain the solar installations and monitor energy use in health facilities.

Institutional support is one of the greatest factors influencing the long-term success of solar installations. By partnering with the Guyana Energy Agency in all aspects of the IHFI project: design, installation, training and monitoring and evaluation, all knowledge and experience gained throughout implementation remains in Guyana. The products of these activities, like, audit protocols, training materials, system designs and maintenance manuals will help build capacity for different stakeholders in Guyana.

Related Content

Remote Performance Monitoring Systems Remote performance monitoring of health facility power installations increases the speed, effectiveness and value of maintenance activities.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Photovoltaic (PV) Systems generate electricity from sunlight collected by solar panels. Energy collected in this manner can be used to supply direct power to electrical equipment, or it can be stored in batteries to provide indirect power.
  • Photos   View a series of slide shows featuring work being carried out under USAID in Haiti and Guyana.