The government of Barbados is injecting millions into its quest to turn the country into a green economy, to save energy cost and contribute to a reduction in toxic emissions.
While speaking during the Site Visit and Commissioning of the Barbados Public Sector Smart Energy Program (PSSEP) Retrofit Public Buildings with Photo-voltaic Systems, at the Forensic Science Centre, Culloden Road, St Michael, and the Frank Walcott Building, situated close to the Forensics Centre, Minister of Energy Wilfred Abrahams gave the assurance that Government is committed to promoting sustainable energy practices in the public sector.
PSSEP, which is a comprehensive investment programme financed by grant funding of 5.8 million from the European Union (EU), and a United States $US17 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The program focuses on initiatives on both the supply and demand side of renewable energy within the public sector.
“By the end of 2018, including the facilities being highlighted today, 2.6 megawatt solar photo-voltaic (PV) will be installed across 16 public Government buildings, including the Ministry of Education, the Bridgetown Port, the Forensics Services Centre, and the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“Collectively, these solar PV systems are estimated to generate approximately 4.5 megawatt hours of electricity annually, and save 3.66 barrels of oil per year. Today, 12 of these installations have been substantially completed. I am very pleased to be able to commission the first here today,” Minister Abrahams said.
Ambassador Daniela Tramcere, Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, and the OECS, and CARICOM, remarked that the EU was proud to be a major financing partner of the important programme, complementing the IDB loan.
She said the occasion marks yet another milestone in Barbados’ development, as the island forges ahead with its goal of transitioning from a fossil fuel-based energy sector to a renewable-based energy sector.
“We strongly believe that the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme, as part of the Sustainable Energy Framework for Barbados, will contribute to enhance security and stability in energy supply, improve the economy’s competitiveness, and achieve greater environmental sustainability,” Tramcere said.
Meanwhile, Vice President of Countries of the IDB, Alexandre Meira da Rosa, said the PSSE Program is a good example of the long-standing and successful collaboration between the IDB, the European Union, and the Government of Barbados, which seeks to create a sustainable energy matrix for the island, and which is expected to be an example to be tried in other Caribbean territories.
“The installation of the first two photo-voltaic systems in public buildings is one of the main activities financed by the PSSE program. By flipping the switch today, we literally connect the generation of new renewable energy to the grid.
“These buildings will become small power plant facilities and will directly support the efforts of the Government to transition to a cleaner and more diversified power generation. Not only by increasing energy security and the reliability of electricity supply, but also by reducing the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Meira da Rosa said. (AH)
Credit: Anesta Henry, Barbados Advocate