ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The government of Antigua and Barbuda is set to replace the country’s existing streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights. This is being done through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The project, which was launched on February 9, 2017, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, will see over 14,000 high pressure sodium and mercury vapour lamps being replaced by the end of 2018.
“The government has set a target to reduce the energy consumption of government facilities by 30 percent by the year 2025. It’s therefore our intention to replace all these high pressure sodium and mercury vapour lights with more efficient LED lights. These LED lights have… high efficiency, and therefore reducing energy consumption by almost 50 percent. This would lead to a reduction of fuel imports into the island, and also a reduction in carbon emissions,” said Robin Yearwood, minister of public utilities, civil aviation and transportation.
CDB is financing the street light retrofitting project through a loan of US$5.9 million, as well as grant funding of an additional US$1 million. The project aims for an annual reduction of street lighting energy consumption by 4,900 MWh, and 3,200 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions by the end of 2019.
“In keeping with the government of Antigua and Barbuda’s strategy to decrease energy consumption in the public sector and reduce carbon emissions through avoided electricity generation, the project was identified as a priority for energy efficiency improvements, as significant savings can be achieved with reasonable investments. The use of LED lights is recognised as the new standard for street lighting due to its high efficiency, flexible lighting design and robustness. Studies have demonstrated that grid-tied LED streetlights are the more cost-effective option,” said Andrew Dupigny, head of infrastructure partnerships at CDB.
Antigua and Barbuda currently has the highest per capita consumption of electricity of all Eastern Caribbean states. Electricity consumption by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, including street lighting, accounts for approximately 11 percent of nationwide consumption, which equated to costs of approximately US$37 million in 2014.