Jamaican Schools Benefit From $62 Million Energy Saving Project

A $62 million energy saving project is to be implemented in 15 schools and three Jamaican Government agencies, as the administration works to reduce the high energy bill within the public sector.

This was announced by Jamaican State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, who noted that the project has been approved by Cabinet and contracts to undertake the initiative are to be signed soon.

He was speaking at the awards ceremony for the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Schools Energy Programme at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 27.

The project will involve the PCJ installing solar PV systems within 14 high schools, one primary school and three Government agencies.

Lamenting that the Government spends $14 billion annually on energy costs,

Mr. Robinson said the project is expected to realise significant savings within the public sector.

“Collectively, the 18 solar PV systems, which will be installed, should provide 232 kilowatts peak power, which equates to 344,000 kilowatt hours per year. This will result in savings of more than $16 million on the public sector energy bill,” the State Minister said.

Mr. Robinson said the Government, through the PCJ, has carried out more than 100 energy efficiency projects at hospitals, schools, health centres and other public sector facilities over the last 10 years.

“These projects represent a total investment of more than $116 million and have resulted in more than $43 million in savings on Jamaica’s annual energy bill,” he said.

In the meantime, the State Minister pointed out that the new solar systems will be grid tied, which will allow the entities to earn revenue by generating electricity to sell back to the grid.

The schools to benefit from the project are: Ardenne High, Kingston High, Norman Manley High, St. Hugh’s High and Wolmer’s Girls’ in Kingston and

St. Andrew; Clarendon College, Glenmuir High, and Vere Technical High in Clarendon; Hampton School for Girls, Munro College, and St. Elizabeth Technical High in

St. Elizabeth; Old Harbour High, Rose Hill Primary, St. Catherine High and Dinthill Technical High in St. Catherine.

Mr. Robinson noted that these schools were chosen in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and selection was based on an assessment of the level of energy consumption of the schools as well as the viability of the solar solutions.

The Government entities selected are: the Scientific Research Council (SRC), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the PCJ.

During the awards ceremony, students from several primary and secondary institutions, who competed in the essay, poster and science competitions under the PCJ programme, were presented with more than $1.8 million in cash and prizes.

Thursday 3rd July 2014

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