“Our aim is to reduce the electricity bill in the public service by making as many of our buildings energy efficient as possible and by earning income from solar photovoltaics,” said Energy Minister Darcy Boyce, who has signed the US$5.5 million agreement with Solar Watts Systems Inc., the local company contracted to install the solar photovoltaic systems.
“Government will do its utmost to encourage others to adopt renewable energy and energy efficiency wherever feasible and, in doing so, will seek to use itself as an example for others,’ Boyce said at the ceremony attended by representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union which have provided loan and grant funding for the programme.
He said that the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme, which focuses on investment initiatives for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the public sector, includes a number of other components including retrofitting public lights with energy efficient technologies; implementing an electric vehicles pilot project and conducting studies in ocean energy.
Boyce said that it also provides for capacity building, institutional strengthening, and public education and awareness for a sustainable approach to energy management.
The Energy Minister said that the Barbados National Oil Company was currently having discussions with the Ministry of Education to work out a plan to install solar photovoltaic systems on the roofs of secondary schools to generate electricity.
In addition, he said the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) was also in discussions with a number of stakeholders to convert the roofs of buildings in industrial estates into generators of electricity from solar photovoltaic systems.