Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Gov't launches solar lamp pilot project

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 5:14 PMPaul Clarke
From the left, Dr Andrew Wheatley (third) and Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre), at OPM, pose with residents from communities which are to benefit from the government's solar lamp pilot project - Rudolph Brown photo

The Government today launched a pilot project to provide 5,000 solar lamps to residents in inner-city communities across St Andrew.

The project, which is being overseen by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), is aimed at reducing house fires and fatalities associated with the blaze.

Its reported that at least 31 people including nine children have been killed in house fires in recent times.

Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said the project is expected to address this problem.

“This is only one solution of many and at the end when we review this pilot project we will be in a position to see if it’s worth taking it islandwide,” Holness said.

“Almost every year, as a representative, I have had to deal with burnouts; someone’s home will be destroyed by fire. It’s not arson; it’s that we have an aging housing stock that is made primarily of wood. Some people also make their houses out of cardboards and baggas,” he added.

PCJ Chairman, Russell Hadeed, said the project is part of his agency’s mandate to promote energy efficiency and added that it is a useful way of addressing the problem of house fires.

The ceremony was told that the solar lamps have a lifespan of two years with three additional years if used with batteries.

For maximum usage, persons are required to charge the lamps for eight hours in the sun.

When fully charged, it will give users up to 20 hours of light on the low beam feature and roughly six hours when used on the high beam feature. 

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