Barbados’ 28 000 streetlights will be replaced with LED technology.
This upgrade to the island’s street lighting complement is being undertaken as a necessary transition in the type of efficiency of technology presently in use.
Speaking at this morning’s signing ceremony for Government’s Energy Efficient Retrofit of Public Sector Smart Energy Programme, Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams said the LED streetlights are going to be 50 per cent more efficient than the presently installed high pressure sodium lights and it is estimated that the retrofit will result in annual energy cost savings of BDS$3.7 million.
Government presently has an annual electricity bill of $67 million.
“For Barbadians, the savings will not only be financial, but the installation of these LEDS will also see a reduction of 2 400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and result in over four million kilowatt hours of energy saved versus the business as usual scenario annually.
“This present body of work to replace the streetlights is being undertaken in the Ministry of Energy under the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme-PSSEP and was co-financed with a loan from the IDB and a grant from the EU,” Abrahams said.
The minister said as it relates to the financing of the LED streetlights, the IDB provided resources for 39 per cent of their cost and the EU provided the resources for the additional 61 per cent with a total retrofit cost of approximately BDS$20 million.
He said for those who question why the switch to LEDs, even though presented with the financial savings, environmental considerations and the reduction in the use of imported fossil fuels, the switch to LEDs will also allow for additional benefits which include lower maintenance cost, better quality light, an expanded lifespan, more accurate colour rendering and the fact that these LEDs do not contain harmful elements such as mercury or lead.
“With all the above in mind, the signing of today’s contract between the government of Barbados and the Caribbean LED for the provision of LED streetlights for the island, represents a clear indication of the commitment of the government of Barbados to the true attainment of these new policy targets set for the energy sector.
“It has not been a truly easy feat but it represents a tangible promise to the people of Barbados that this government is striving to provide the best elements of development for everyone,” he said.
Abrahams also pointed out that it must be acknowledged that to traverse the fossil fuel chasm and catapult into 2030 with a Barbados that is carbon-neutral and heavily powered from the renewable and other alternative sources then the nation must proudly see the evidence of the transition as another step towards genuine financial freedom.
Managing Director of the Barbados Light & Power, Roger Blackman, who noted that the company was pleased to partner with Government and all those involved in the project, said though the project does not cover the installation of new streetlights in unlit areas, persons could apply for new private streetlights through Light & Power’s standard application process.
“We will work to ensure that this replacement experience is favourable for customers. We will also work with project partners including the police’s traffic division to ensure road users experience the least amount of inconvenience possible during the replacement,” Blackman assured.