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Hospital CEO says solar energy system has proven its worth

Monday, July 22, 2019

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BUSTAMANTE Hospital for Children — the only specialist paediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean — has managed to reduce its energy bill, thanks to the support of Guardsman Games.

The purchase of a Turn-Key Grid-Tied System for US$10,494, from proceeds of the games by Guardsman Group Limited, was officially handed over to the hospital in July 2018.

According to David Arscott — senior manager of Future Energy Corporation, the company commissioned to install the solar energy system — the hospital is reaping monetary benefits.

“The 5kW system has an estimated production of 7,000 kwh (Kilowatt hours) annually. This will give an estimated annual savings of around $300,000 and is projected to provide a lifetime savings of $28,759,495,” Arscott is quoted in a recent release.

The hospital's Chief Executive Officer Camille Panton shared that the system has proven its worth in its first year of operations.

“We are always adding new equipment, so if we were not getting that help from the solar energy system we would be faced with much higher electricity costs,” she is quoted as saying in the release.

Funding for the donation was made possible through part proceeds from 2017 Guardsman Games, and the system is currently being used to aid in powering the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Panton explained that the system feeds into the hospital's power grid while also controlling costs.

“Before the installations, we were seeing the electricity bill constantly rising, but while it now fluctuates, it is predominantly lower,” Panton shared.

The hospital CEO also highlights that the solar energy system is state-of-the-art and has required no repairs in its first year of operations.

“The system is working well, and the company which the system was purchased from has indicated that once we have any difficulties, they stand ready to facilitate us at any time,” she said.

The system can also be expanded to increase the energy produced by the solar panels.

The system's cost of generation is US$0.06 per kilowatt hour, 82 per cent lower when compared to US$0.35 per kilowatt hour by the light and power company, Jamaica Public Service, the release continued.

The system is also expected to provide green energy for the next 40 years, while paying back its investment value in five years.

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, charity, athleticism and team spirit will converge in one space again with the Guardsman Games — comprising three events: Guardsman Challenge, LASCO Food Drink Tuff Kids Challenge, and Power Games.

Guardsman Challenge — a six-kilometre race with more than 20 obstacles — also serves as a qualifying race for individuals to represent Jamaica at the Obstacle Course Race World Championships in London, England. It starts at 6:00 am.

The LASCO Food Drink Tuff Kids Challenge, for children between nine and 14 years old, starts at 11:00 am.

The team event, Power Games, will host its Wild Card Play-off at 12:00 pm, closing with the finals at 1:00 pm, the release said.


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