VINLEC is engaged in a project that will see the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights as a replacement for the high-pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury vapour lamps that are on VINLEC’s transmission and distribution network.
This is one component of a national project that is intended to address energy matters with a view to improve energy efficiency, increase the penetration of renewable energy generation, and reduce the harmful impact of the burning of fossil fuel for the production of electricity.
In 2017, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and VINLEC signed an agreement in the form of a loan and a grant amounting to US6 million.
The project that resulted from the agreement has three components, namely the retrofitting of 20 public buildings with energy efficient equipment, the installation of a 400-600 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and the replacement of HPS and mercury vapour lamps with more efficient LED lamps.
VINLEC is providing engineering support for the solar PV and street lighting components of the project and is responsible for the removal of the existing street lamps and their replacement with LED lamps.
The installation of LEDs on VINLEC’s transmission and distribution network as part of this project commenced on June 22.
Work commenced in Campden Park in the vicinity of the bus stop and 1,400 lights have been replaced as of Sept. 1.
At present, LED streetlights along the main Leeward and Windward Highways from Barrouallie to Georgetown are being replaced.
On completion of the installation along the main highways, the teams will focus on continuing the installation work within the communities.
VINLEC’s transmission and distribution and planning departments are responsible for all aspects of project management as well as the assembly of the lights.
The team is also supported by Ruddy’s Electrical Contracting Co. Ltd. with the installation aspect.
The new LED light fixtures will help to reduce the energy consumption of streetlights, reduce the carbon emissions associated with HPS and mercury vapour lamps, reduce the maintenance requirements associated with streetlighting and maintain or enhance the lighting quality on the roadway.
Additionally, the government should see a reduction of 35-40% in energy consumption on its streetlight account, resulting in a reduction in the operating cost of streetlights to the government.
Prior to June 2020, VINLEC had approximately 2,800 LED lights installed across the country. These were installed over the past seven years, following the execution of a LED pilot project in 2013.
The project also involves the procurement of engineering consulting services, as well as the use of contractors for the design-supply-install of the solar PV plant and the retrofitting of the public building.
VINLEC anticipates that the streetlight component of the project will be completed by the third quarter of 2021.