by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- 580-panel Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system installed at TAMCC
- College projects annual saving of EC$160,000
Colleges and universities use a huge amount of energy daily to operate, which can amount to a high monthly electricity bill.
TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) has opted to go green by employing a sustainable alternative method to reduce its monthly bill. Since February 2019 the services of engineering, procurement and installation company, Gearing Up Limited, alongside the team at Grenlec and faculty and staff of the School of Applied Arts and Technology has worked tirelessly to complete the installation of the 580-panel Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the college.
The PV system will generate 200 kW (kilowatts) of energy which is tied into the 3-phase system and will produce approximately 320 MWh (megawatt-hours) power per year. Not only will TAMCC consume the electricity generated to run the institution, but it will also be supplying the excess power to the grid for domestic use. This excess electricity will be sold to Grenlec.
“Every month the execution should be about 351 kilowatts and it will be sold to Grenlec at 45¢ per kilowatt. So far up to the month of August, we have sold $43,970 to Grenlec which we are in partnership with, and they are also here to assist us to make sure the supply of solar energy is available at the right rate and moves at the right kilowatt,” said Patricia Benjamin, Instructor at the Electrical Technology Department, who played a pivotal role during the installation.
Just to put into perspective the level of energy generation potential of the college, an average domestic household will utilise around 15 kW per day, and with the newly installed PV system, the college will generate enough energy to power 50 to 60 households annually.
Grant funding under the Support for Small Island Developing States (SIDS-DOCK) Support Programme of US$600,000 was obtained by the Government of Grenada towards the financing of the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Demonstration and Scale-up Project. The funding was channelled through the International Bank for Reconstruction Development (IBRD) World Bank.
The Support Programme for Small Island Developing States (SIDS-DOCK), is a multi-donor trust fund within the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). According to their mandate, the department is dedicated to creating an enabling regulatory and institutional environment to remove barriers on the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency policy reforms, based on international best practices, and implementation of renewable and energy efficiency projects that demonstrate the potential for the use of commercial-scale PV systems in the Caribbean through pilot projects scale-up through climate finance and other sources of funding.
It is projected by the college that they will see an annual saving of $160,000. Benjamin is hopeful that the reduction in the college’s energy bill can hopefully translate into tangible education grants or capacity building for students and faculty members.
In addition to monthly savings, TAMCC recently sent two lecturers — Clement Commodore and Edward Heyliger both lecturers within the electronic department — to Saint Lucia to complete a training course to be certified under the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification programme which offers professional certification and accreditation photovoltaic system design and installation.
“I am one of the lecturers in TAMCC who do part of the lecturing for renewable energy. We have courses and programmes where we teach renewable energy some of which are the electrical students, the commercial refrigeration, heating, and air conditioning programme (HVAC) students, and electronic students. We hope to spread this renewable energy throughout all the other programmes within the School of Applied Arts and Technology. However, we are starting with programmes which are more directly tied with the solar PV installation itself,” said Commodore.
Heyliger is of the view that this will assist the college to improve on its course offering to students with regards to the implementation of sustainable renewable energy. “This training will certainly go a long way to helping us improve the quality of the courses and there is quite a lot of practical insight that we got and we look forward to having it improve the quality of the programme. It contributed a lot to my personal understanding of what is going on in the industry across the Caribbean which I found really valuable.”
Two officials from the Ministry of Works, Oketo Peters and Paul Phillip, were also part of the training.
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