Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Gov't looking to go Smart with more LED street lights

Published:Monday | July 3, 2017 | 7:00 AMJanet Silvera
Discussing the new Smart LED streetlights as they are officially launched in Montego Bay, St James are (from left) Homer Davis, mayor of Montego Bay; Gary Barrow, chief technology officer, JPS; Dr Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, energy and technology; Marlene Malahoo Forte, member of parliament, St James West Central; and Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Government will be looking to utilise to full potential smart LED street lights that were installed in four sections of the island last week by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

This includes not just achieving a reduction in energy bills, but also bolstering the fight against crime, according to Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Smart LED Street Light Conversion Project at the Fairview Office Complex in Montego Bay,

St James, last Friday night.

"This smart technology provides a platform for smart security, while putting power in the hands of the people," said Wheatley, adding that the new technology has the ability to house cameras and facilitate mobile equipment.

He said he was excited by the potential that it has in reducing electricity cost for the country.

 

TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT

 

Montego Bay, Mona, Liguanea, Washington Boulevard, and Portmore were installed simultaneously on Friday night. Three hundred lights were installed in the tourism capital.

According to the JPS, the birth of these 'smart cities' is projected to have a transformative and revolutionary impact on the way Jamaica does things going forward.

Mayor of Montego Bay Homer Davis said the city has been presented with some exorbitant bills for street lighting in the past.

"This development was long overdue. We have seen for years that our electricity bill has burdened the Jamaican Government, and has caused our annual budget to be planned in such a way that we are not able to fully develop our communities," Davis said.

The project is estimated to cost US$33 million over the period, down from $45 million as a result of competitive bidding, which brought the rate down.

"Fifty per cent of the lights in Montego Bay will be converted into LED by the end of the year," project consultant Steve Dixon told The Gleaner.

"I am proud to say what we have installed in Jamaica is an advance, and sophisticated system, comparable to, or more modern than, you can find in any city of any developed country around the world." he said.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com