Philip Hamilton, Gleaner Writer
JAMAICA COLLEGE has been selected as the site of a new outdoor lighting pilot project being led by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) in its efforts to promote renewable energy sources.
The project, which was officially launched at the institution yesterday, will cost $250,000 for the installation of a solar photovoltaic induction system powering two outdoor induction lamps totalling 110 watts.
It also involves the replacement of three existing high-pressure, outdoor lamps rated at 750 watts with three induction lamps totalling 300 watts.
The induction lamps, which are said to be superior to LED and fluorescent systems, were donated by Solar & Eolic Solutions, an American company specialising in energy efficient solar induction lamps for street use.
bring about change
Nigel Logan, PCJ's acting group managing director told The Gleaner the decision to install the energy efficient lighting system at Jamaica College was in response to a request by principal, Ruel Reid seeking assistance in reducing spiralling energy costs at the school.
"We wanted to choose an institution we saw progressing and doing things to change the way schools operate. Our energy efficiency unit looked at the requests from various schools and thought JC was an ideal candidate for the project, " said Logan.
Jamaica College's principal Ruel Reid said the new lighting system would significantly reduce the school's monthly electricity bill which ran as high as $800,000 due to the expansion of the school's plant.
"We wanted to be an example to other schools, that we really need to go with green energy and use alternative and renewable energy sources, " said Reid.
"With the fiscal constraints that currently exist, we can't expect additional resources from the Government so we have to look at how we can reduce our costs on a sustainable basis because we have already committed ourselves to the technology."
Energy and mining minister, James Robertson, who also spoke at the launch, said Jamaica was giving serious attention to the development of renewable energy resources.
Robertson said his ministry was developing a draft biofuel policy, in addition to waste energy and carbon emissions trading policies, which were scheduled to be completed by the end of the calendar year.