THE Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) has undertaken a $5.6-million upgrade of the lighting facilities at the May Pen and Spanish Town hospitals and the Jamaica Police Convalescent Centre, in its bid to help reduce the public sector's energy bill.
The three institutions are the latest to benefit from a PCJ programme that facilitates the increased use of energy-efficiency technology by public sector entities.
At the Spanish Town Hospital, the PCJ is carrying out a complete overhaul of the internal lighting system on the maternity ward with an aim to reduce the hospital's energy usage by 36,000 kWh per year. The 340-bed ward is being retrofitted with fixtures and other equipment that will reduce the use of electricity.
The upgrade covers restrooms, storerooms and general patient areas, most of which will be equipped with sensors to regulate lighting based on occupancy.
Meanwhile, the outdoor lighting system at the May Pen Hospital is being improved for greater utilisation of renewable energy. The PCJ is installing a solar photovoltaic system, rehabilitating old lighting poles and replacing existing halogen lighting with LED lamps. The LED lamps will provide a similar level of illumination with reduced wattage.
The upgrade is projected to result in energy saving of 29,780 kWh per year, which will translate into cost-saving of more than J$950,000 annually.
In addition, the Jamaica Police Convalescent Centre is set to reduce its energy usage by 17,000 kWh per year as a result of the lighting-efficiency improvements recently undertaken at that institution. The PCJ installed an external solar lighting system at the centre and also upgraded the internal and external lighting fixtures.
"The PCJ understands that rising energy costs can hinder public sector institutions from delivering quality services to the public, and an effective way to address this matter is greater utilisation of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology," said Dr Peter Ruddock, manager of renewable energy at the PCJ.
"The three institutions that have benefited from our latest round of projects should soon see cost savings as a result of the reductions in their energy bills," he added.
During the last fiscal year, the PCJ invested more than J$53 million on public sector energy-efficiency projects. The corporation installed energy-efficient lighting, air-conditioning and water-heating systems at several public institutions, including the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the National Environment and Planning Agency, as well as numerous schools. The investment is projected to result in more than $19.7 million in savings annually.