JIS News

Energy efficiency at the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston has been significantly improved, with the installation of seven outdoor security lights, powered by a solar photovoltaic system.

Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to convert light into electricity. It consists of multiple components, including cells, mechanical and electrical connections and mountings and means of regulating and/or modifying electrical output.

The security solar lighting system, donated by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) through the Ministry of Mining and Energy, replaces the outdoor lights which consisted of seven 250 watts High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps totaling 1.75 KW. It was implemented to replace the HPS fixtures with LED fixtures powered by solar photovoltaic panels. The implementation cost of the project was $2.7 million.

The economic benefits of the project include reduction in electricity consumption. The estimated energy saving is 22 megawatt hours per year, and the cost saving is $696,000 per year, which translates to approximately five per cent savings per annum

Speaking at the handing over at the hospital on Wednesday (January 12), Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon James Robertson, said energy efficiency and conservation is critical to the nation’s development, and the lights would reduce the energy bill.

“We believe that if we can set an example in the schools, hospitals, all the way through the government sector, we will get the private sector to follow that lead,” he said.

Chairman of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Paris Lyew-Ayee, highlighting the savings from the installation of the system, noted that the health sector consumes a lot of energy in carrying out its work, which contribute some nine per cent of the country’s energy use.

“The areas in which the PCJ have been collaborating with the health sector include: solar water heating, solar photovoltaic outdoor lighting, indoor lighting efficiency, air conditioning efficiency upgrading and steam system improvement,” he revealed.

The project, which was done in two phases, has resulted in tremendous savings thus far. The total energy saving from the project is estimated at 10,000 kilowatt, he said.

He also expressed the hope that other sectors will follow suit and adopt energy efficiency measures.

Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, said the establishment of a comprehensive and effective security lighting system will play a significant role in efforts to protect patients and staff.

“This most valuable donation will no doubt significantly enhance the safety of this facility and, in particular, the safety of our staff who have been victims of robberies in recent times,” he added.

The PCJ has also provided security lighting solutions to five other health facilities – the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, Bustamante Hospital for Children, Hope Institute, Windward Road Health Centre and the Comprehensive Health Centre.

The Bellevue Hospital is a 900-bed type specialist hospital, located in eastern Kingston, with 26 wards spreading over a vast property. The hospital is the largest psychiatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.

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