Wednesday 20 February, 2019

Thousands of streetlights to be replaced

Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams signing the document. Looking on are Ministers Marsha Caddle and William Duguid and various representatives and officials. (IDB/GP)

Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams signing the document. Looking on are Ministers Marsha Caddle and William Duguid and various representatives and officials. (IDB/GP)

Government has signed a contract to replace 28,000 streetlights with light emitting diodes (LEDs) technology. 

News of this came during a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. Minister Wilfred Abrahams, stated:  

“This upgrade to the island’s street lighting complement is being undertaken as a necessary transition in the type and efficiency of technology presently in use. These 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.” 

The programme is co-financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, through a loan of US $17 million, and by the European Union through a grant of US $7.664 million. 

Minister Abrahams stressed: “For Barbadians, the savings will not only be financial, but the installation of these LEDs will also see a reduction of 2,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and result in over four million kilowatt hours of energy saved versus what obtains currently.” 

Of the 28,000 street lights to be retrofitted, 25,000 are owned by the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) and 3,000 are owned by the Government Electrical Engineering Department (GEED) in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance. 

The project will see the replacement of 100 per cent of the GEED lights and 85 per cent of BL&P’s streetlights, with BL&P committing to the replacement and financing of their additional 15 per cent. 

Highlighting the additional advantages of switching to LED street lights, the Energy Minister noted: “The switch to LEDs will allow for additional benefits which include lower maintenance costs, better quality light, their expanded lifespan, the additional value of more accurate colour rendering, and the fact that these LEDs do not contain harmful elements such as mercury or lead.” 

According to Abrahams, an international tender was the process used for awarding the contract, and based on merit and a proven track record, the contract was awarded to Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. 

Minister Abrahams added that the signing of the contract between the Government of Barbados and Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. represents a clear indication of the commitment of the Government of Barbados to the true attainment of new policy targets set for the energy sector, and a tangible promise… that this Government is striving to provide the best elements of development for everyone. 

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