KINGSTON, Dec. 3 (JIS): Night-time visibility along the roadway between Rockfort and Port Royal in East Kingston has been significantly improved through the installation of retrofitted street lights along that corridor, at a cost of just over $5 million.
The project, being jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining; Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI); and Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), entails replacement of the high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps previously used, with energy-saving Light Emitting Diode (LED) versions, assembled by the CMI.
The LED lights are expected to yield upwards of 50 per cent savings in energy costs.
The lights were symbolically commissioned into service on Tuesday (December 2) during a ceremony along the Palisadoes Road.
Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who was guest speaker, welcomed the project’s development and implementation, which he said resulted from a “meaningful” partnership.
“You have done this very well. This journey to conserve and to become more efficient users of energy is one that the entire country is on,” he stated.
The Minister pointed out that the Administration is undertaking a US$20 million project, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), “where we are transforming the way we utilise electricity in the Government”, adding that “we are going to be using that as a model for the rest of the country.”
In addition, he highlighted a World Bank-funded US$4.5 million project, which will assist micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (MSME) to implement energy efficient solutions. These, he said, include energy audits “to look at areas where they need to do the transformation, and to fund the (options) that will result in greater conservation and energy efficiency.”
“So, we are on a mission,… that has been joined by the stakeholders in JPS, our partners at CMI and, we hope, now, the entire country, as we…pursue this major effort of energy conservation and efficiency and to make Jamaica a better place for us all,’
Mr. Paulwell said.
In his remarks, CMI Executive Director, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, also commended the stakeholder inputs, pointing out that the Institute is “here to make a difference in the communities.”
In her remarks, President and Chief Executive Officer of the JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said the entity is committed to developing sustainable energy solutions that will redound to the nation’s benefit.
“Tonight stands as a shining example that when we get together, we really can get something done,” she added.
Other speakers included: Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Andrew Swaby, who represented Mayor, Senator Councillor Angela Brown Burke; CMI Registrar,
Dr. Mark Broomfield; and JPS Director, Asset Management, Steve Dixon.
Installation of the street lights came under a project, which was piloted in 2013 and involved putting in 30 retrofitted lights along the Palisadoes Road at a cost of just under $1 million.
The retrofitting and assembling of the lights in the pilot phase were undertaken by engineers and technicians at the CMI, and residents of Port Royal and adjacent communities. Ten of the residents were also trained and certified as energy auditors by CMI.
The project was subsequently expanded to incorporate installation of another 200 LED lamps along Rockfort and Port Royal at a cost of approximately $5.1 million.
The expansion followed discussions involving Minister Paulwell, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, and the principals of CMI and JPS, and saw the latter entities signing a Memorandum of Understanding in August to facilitate the arrangement.
Just over 180 of the additional 200 lights have been installed, with the project slated for completion within the next few weeks.