Tue | Nov 24, 2020

PCJ completes energy efficiency projects at Ministry of Education

Published:Wednesday | July 31, 2019 | 12:19 AM

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), through its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP), has completed three major energy-efficiency intervention projects totalling $136 million at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s head offices in Kingston.

The projects, which spanned a three-year period, started in 2015 with an electrical distribution upgrade and the installation of a 78-tonne energy-efficient air-conditioning system on two floors of Building One at a value of approximately $32 million. Following this undertaking, in 2016, the EECP invested more than $13 million in the installation of 7,500 square feet of solar-control film application on windows at the ministry.

Recently, the EECP carried out a $91-million project that involved retrofitting the remaining three floors of Building One, as well as all of Building Two and the annex, with a 173-tonne energy-efficient air-conditioning system. The modern, efficient cooling system which was designed using variable refrigerant flow, based on the building’s use and conditions, is expected to result in a 34 per cent reduction in the air-conditioning electricity consumption at the ministry.

FRESH AIR

Among the other benefits of the new system is the introduction of fresh air into the cooled office spaces to reduce and remove potentially harmful pathogens and bacteria from the environment. Also, the entity now has the option of managing its cooling selectively through an internet-based smart building-management system that should lower energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint.

It is anticipated that the modifications made through the PCJ’s interventions will enhance the environment and improve staff’s well-being, which should increase productivity and comfort for users of the building.

While speaking at the handover ceremony for the projects, PCJ Acting Group General Manager Robert Clarke said, “The projects carried out by the PCJ symbolise continuous progress as we implement more alternative energy solutions in the public sector and therefore position the Government of Jamaica as a model for responsible energy use.”

The EECP was established in 2011 to promote cost-saving measures in the public sector through the design and implementation of energy efficiency and conservation interventions and equipment. Since the programme’s introduction, more than 40 entities from the health, finance, education, and security sectors have been retrofitted with solar-control film, cool-roof solutions, and energy-efficient air-condition systems.

“I want to thank the energy ministry immensely for providing these facilities for us. They are very efficient, and the systems installed work extremely well. Furthermore, I am very pleased to say that the improvements to the building make the environment more pleasant for all its users,” said Karl Samuda, minister without portfolio in the education ministry.

In her keynote address, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams highlighted the benefits of the PCJ’s investment. “The impact of this $136-million expenditure is a projected 34 per cent reduction in electricity consumption at the ministry’s head office, which should translate into approximately $9.2 million in savings each year,” she said.