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Solar Schools

Barbados Solar schools

(from left) Vice President of the Association of Public Primary School Principals, Sandra Small-Thompson and Japanese Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Yoshimasa Tezuka sign the agreements, as Acting Permanent Secretary within the Division of Energy and Telecommunications, Jehu Wiltshire and Acting Chief Education Officer, David Clement look on.

In another four months, five primary schools across the island should be outfitted with photovoltaic systems which are expected to reduce their energy bills by 10 to 30 per cent, and could equate to as much as $500 in savings each month.


Word of this has come from officials of the Division of Energy and Telecommunications in the Prime Minister’s Office, following a signing ceremony at the Division’s Country Road office yesterday morning between the Government of Japan and the Association of Public Primary School Principals, for the provision of a grant of approximately US$121 000 for the supply and erection of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.


Acting Permanent Secretary within the Division of Energy and Telecommunications, Jehu Wiltshire, said that a contract was recently awarded to Solar Energy Innovations Incorporated for the supply and erection of solar PV systems at 10 Government-owned schools – five primary and five secondary. He explained during the signing ceremony that the funds being provided by the Government of Japan, through its Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Project, will reduce the money that Government to will have spend to execute the project.


“Schools, hospitals, non-governmental organisations and contractors can now apply for grants and in this regard a proposal was submitted by the Association of Public Primary School Principals for the execution of a solar electricity project… [and] The Government of Barbados is happy to partner with the Association of Public Primary School Principals in this undertaking,” he said.


PS Wiltshire’s comments came as he indicated that Government is in the process of executing an “ambitious” solar electricity programme with the view to erecting solar electricity systems on a number of Government-owned buildings, including schools.


“Indeed, we are seeking to have such systems erected on all of the primary schools, on all of the schools in Barbados; so this would just be the first phase of the execution of this programme. We are very happy that the Association of Public Primary School Principals has facilitated this undertaking in terms of submitting this proposal, and indeed we see it of significant benefit in terms of rolling out the solar electricity programme throughout the country,” he said.


Meanwhile, according to Horace Archer, Senior Technical Officer in the Division, each school will be outfitted with 2.5 kilowatt PV system and each will feature battery backup power as well, given that the schools have the dual function of emergency shelters. 


Archer said Reynolds Weeks Primary is expected to see the highest savings, in the region of 30 per cent. 


“The project also has a training and public awareness component involving project stakeholders, the teachers and the students of the schools. In fact, over 3 400 students will benefit from direct exposure to photovoltaic technology and hopefully develop a broad understanding of energy issues. The science teachers will receive some level of training in the area, so as to impart their knowledge onto the students of the schools,” he added.


The schools to benefit from the grant are All Saints Primary School, Reynold Weekes Primary School, George Lamming Primary, Christ Church Girls’ School and St. Alban’s Primary. The grant from the Japanese Government will cover 65 per cent of the project cost for the schools and the remaining amount will be covered by the Government of Barbados. (JRT)


Category/ies:Barbados Articles, Barbados Energy Awareness, Barbados News, Barbados Projects, Energy for Young Minds, News, Solar Energy.
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