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Earth Today | China makes energy mark on Clarendon entity

Published:Wednesday | April 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMPetre Williams-Raynor

MORE THAN 140 young people and team members at the Clarendon Youth Information Centre (YIC) are set to benefit from a solar energy project, financed by the Chinese Government to the tune of US$150,000.

Under the project, launched in July 2016, the Chinese are donating solar panels and providing technical support for their installation.

The YIC works to empower young people through the dissemination of information and the provision of services to support their integration and reintegration into school and the workforce. It also offers counselling services.

"Putting in solar panels is always a great thing," said Latoya Harris, director of donor and partner relations at the National Education Trust.

However, since work began, there has been a hiccup with the electrical.

"The transformer previously provided by the Chinese side is not compatible with the local voltage requirement. The Chinese Government has offered another one, which has been delivered and will arrive soon (at the facility)," the Chinese embassy revealed.

Harris attested to this.

According to the embassy, the YIC would be getting good value.

"The duration of solar panel is tested to be around 25 years. It can generate 75 kilowatt of electricity per day, which means the 75 kWh of electricity will be totally free for use. Considering the high utility costs in Jamaica, it is definitely financially efficient," the entity said.

On their motivation for involvement, the Chinese said they could not have turned down the request.

"The Chinese Government would like to support its friends in coping with climate change, especially friends like Jamaica, who are very sensitive to climate change. (Also), the key component of solar panel is its battery; China has a lot of patents in this technical area. China is famous for its top-quality solar panels delivered all over the world and it could provide its Jamaican friends with best quality goods," the embassy said.