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FirstCaribbean Bank utilizing geothermal energy systems

SINCE August 2009, customers and employees doing business and working in the cool of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Portmore branch, have experienced a part of a major green initiative by the bank.

The banking location, part of FirstCaribbean’s 13-branch network in Jamaica, is on a list of only a few buildings in the Caribbean using geothermal energy systems.

 

The clean energy technology, recognised worldwide as a major green alternative to traditional energy sources, typically results in up to 60 per cent energy savings and elimination of outdoor noise and air pollution where it is installed.

Building on a decision to use geothermal systems in 2008, FirstCaribbean has also made installations at two more locations in the northern Caribbean — Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Shirley Street in the Bahamas. They provide up to 80 per cent of the energy required to provide cooling in these branches.

Clovis Metcalfe, managing director of the bank, said the move is aligned with FirstCaribbean’s ongoing efforts to be an outstanding corporate citizen.

“At FirstCaribbean, we pay very close attention to the impact of our operations on the environment. We can now add geothermal energy systems to our list of environmentally friendly business practices,” he said.

In addition to energy savings, FirstCaribbean expects operating cost reductions at locations where the geothermal energy systems are installed. These include savings on what is spent on heating, boiler, chiller, and rooftop maintenance, and fossil fuel imports.

The clean energy technology takes advantage of naturally occurring earth temperatures found two metres or more below the earth’s surface.

It circulates a water-based heat transfer solution underground through an engineered geothermal piping grid. They switch between heating and cooling, based on the desired building temperature, occupancy and humidity.

In addition to addressing the issue of energy efficiency, FirstCaribbean’s environment policy, first outlined in 2006, addresses current-day environmental concerns, including waste reduction, use of biodegradable and recyclable material, and low-polluting modes of transportation.


Source:  Jamaica Observer



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