KINGSTON — The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, which is located close to the University of the West Indies' (UWI) Mona campus, is expected to save $1 million from the installation of a solar water heating system.
The system was officially handed over Wednesday (August 3) by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), during a ceremony at the centre. It has five solar water heaters with a capacity of 4200 litres to serve the Henriques Ward Male Area, Henriques Ward Female Area, Henriques Ward Children Area, kitchen and laundry.
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. Clive Mullings, reminded the handing over ceremony of the need for energy conservation, while lauding the installation of the system by the PCJ.
“We must understand that we are all stakeholders in solving our energy challenges, and what this represents is an effort to diversify and to send a signal to the rest of the country that it can be done,” Mr. Mullings said.
He added that too much time is spent discussing the country’s energy issues, and very little time solving them.
“We have persons who would say this is the solution, but when it comes to putting their money into assisting that solution they are weighing the balances and are found wanting. The PCJ is not wanting in terms of putting resources to help,” the minister said.
Chairman of the board of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, thanked the PCJ for its donations to health care delivery. He said the installation will result in energy savings of some 39, 000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year and cost savings of over $1 million, annually, which represents an almost 15 per cent reduction in the institution’s energy bill.
He pointed out that, currently, SERHA spends approximately $7 million annually on electricity consumption at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre.
“This will certainly alleviate the high cost of electricity at this facility, in the face of rising oil prices. This is indeed a welcome solution,” Mr. Shirley said.
PCJ’s, Group Managing Director, Dr. Mario Anderson, noted that his organisation was pleased to be a part of the initiative.
“This project shows and demonstrates our commitment. We have invested over $4 million in this project, and I think there are other projects which we will be quite happy to assist the centre with,” Dr. Anderson said.
The cost of implementing the system was $2.8 million for the solar water heaters, and $1.5 million for the hot water piping and fixtures.
The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre is a public, specialist facility dedicated to the restoration of useful life for the physically challenged due to spinal injuries or trauma.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter