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PCJ donates solar panels to Bellevue

Published:Thursday | January 13, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

The Bellevue Hospital in Kingston is looking forward to cuts in its electricity bill after receiving a gift of seven solar outdoor lighting system donated by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).

The solar panels, which were recently installed, will save the health facility some $700,000 per year, representing approximately five per cent savings.

PCJ Chairman Paris Lyew-Ayee said yesterday that with oil prices on the increase, it is important that the Government be a leader in saving the commodity.

"We recognised that within the government organisations, the health sector is one of those areas that use a lot of energy to carry out its work. In keeping with that concern, the PCJ said it would work with the health services to help in addressing that matter," he disclosed during the handover ceremony at the health facility.

Lyew-Ayee encouraged manufacturers, hoteliers, homeowners and others to adapt to the energy-saving initiative in order to save on the resource.

Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, in expressing his appreciation, said the lights would support the security details on the compound.

"This most valuable donation will no doubt significantly enhance the safety of this facility and, in particular, the safety of our staff who have been victims of robberies in recent times," Shirley said.

"It is important to note that this institution is situated on some 48 acres of land, so you can well appreciate the fact that securing this facility is a major challenge to our management," he added.

Minister of Energy and Mining James Robertson said the ministry was working with international development partners on a three-year project, at a cost of up to US$50 million, dealing with energy conservation and efficiencies in government agencies and structures.

Robertson added that savings from the project would foot the bill before the time is up.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com