Sunday, April 21, 2024

Street lights to switch to LED


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GOVERNMENT HAS SIGNED an agreement with the Barbados Light and Power Company to facilitate the retrofitting of 85 per cent of the island’s street lights with LED technology.

Funding for the BDS$20 million project, which forms part of the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme, will be provided by the European Union and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Of the 28 000 street lights on the island, 25 000 are owned by the Barbados Light and Power and 3 000 by the Government Electrical Engineering Department of the Ministry of Transport and Works.

Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, who signed the agreement on behalf of Government, noted that the State was a very large user of electricity and street lighting was a significant part of that usage.

The street lighting replacement programme, he said, would help Government move closer to its target of a 22 per cent reduction in electricity consumption by 2029.

The Energy Minister stressed the importance of reducing the importation of fossil fuels, whether through energy efficiency or renewable energy, explaining that such a reduction would result in a decrease in the amount of foreign exchange used and would therefore contribute to growth in the economy.

Senator Boyce said that there was currently 24 megawatts of renewable energy in the grid. He disclosed Government’s plans to extend the licences granted to the smaller generators of electricity under the renewable energy rider from 10 years to 20, and said that work was also currently being done on the framework for licensing the large producers, who were also known as independent power producers.

“What we are trying to do in this effort is to democratise the generation of power so that the small person has a chance to participate; the big people have a chance to participate; Government has a chance to participate and the utility has a chance to participate,” he stated.

The Energy Minister further disclosed that within “another couple of months” there would be an announcement of an increase in the limits set so far for intermittent energy, that is, solar and wind, adding: “We now have allocated             65 megawatts and we hope by the end of this year to bring that up to 100 or          110 megawatts.” (BGIS)


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