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AISK saves big with solar


JUST over three months since installing a photovoltaic (PV) system at the institution, American International School of Kingston (AISK) is reporting accumulated savings of approximately US$15,000 as at October 9.


The system boasts 400 250-watt solar panels covering 7,000 square feet, and five Schneider-Electric 20-kilowatt grid-tie inverters which convert DC to AC power. The project made AISK the first and only school in the island to possess an alternative power source of this scale.


Aisk solar


When the Jamaica Observer last visited the Liguanea-based school, in June this year, installation was far advanced. The plan was to cut back on energy usage while providing for the school’s consumption needs through an individual power supply. Since being commissioned on June 26, there has been great buzz around the campus, with administrators, staff, students, and the extended school family excited about the completed work.


Shirley Davis, AISK’s new head of school stated, “We are proud to be the pioneers and leaders on such a large scale in the renewable energy sector. Our school has been featured in newspapers internationally and we are happy to share our experience with all interested parties”.


Even the elementary schoolchildren are excited.


“This means that we are not cutting down so many trees and the air should be getting cleaner,” one of them said.


But while reducing their electricity bill was a major motivating factor, the institution pointed out that environmental benefits recorded thus far have exceeded expectations .


Through a monitoring system provided by Alternative Power Sources Limited (APS), the Observer was able to catch a glimpse of the total performance of the PV system. The monitor reflects estimates of the amount of energy saved though the use of the system. This is broken down into categories of carbon dioxide reduction (66.53 tons), barrels of oil saved (25.58 gallons) and even the number of trees saved (four).


The monitoring component of the system is noticeably efficient and detailed in the information and results it displays. Using the system, individuals are able to observe the performance of the panels on each building respectively, as well as overall. They can track the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly production of the system – allowing viewers to analyse the overall yield history, the estimated environmental contribution, estimated earnings, and the production for the day as at the time of viewing.


Given the returns to date, AISK said it would consider expanding its PV system as this would allow it to realise more savings, and perhaps more importantly, build on its eco-friendly initiatives. It said, however, that it is hobbled by the Office of Utilities Regulation which restricts private parties from having a system facilitating more than 100Kw.



Category/ies:Jamaica News, News.
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