My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: APS Built 100Kw Solar Power installation Project at UTECH - Why APS may be PCJ's Contractor for High School Solar Panel Installation Project

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

APS Built 100Kw Solar Power installation Project at UTECH - Why APS may be PCJ's Contractor for High School Solar Panel Installation Project

Remember UTECH (University of Technology) 100KW Solar Power Facility that was slated to be built in six (6) months by JPS Co (Jamaica Power Service Company) back in October 2012 as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “JPS Co to build 100 KW Solar Plant at UTECH - Marubeni of Japan and EWP (East West Power) Benevolence as LNG Project now Taken 2 the next Level for 2015AD”?

Well it’s built now as I’ve recently discovered was commissioned into service on Thursday July 10th 2014 by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson as stated in the Press Release entitled “Minister Julian Robinson to officially Commission JPS/UTech Solar Project on July 10”, published 2014-07-08 by University of Technology, Go-Jamaica.

A discovery I made after scouring my RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and emails in Mozilla Thunderbird, my offline access to Gmail Email. But more interesting is the fact that the 100KW Solar Power installation involved input from thirty (30) UTECH Engineering Students as noted in the article “UTech solar system doubles as teaching aid”, published Wednesday, September 10, 2014 BY VERNON DAVIDSON Executive editor -- publications, The Jamaica Observer.

According to his interview with The Jamaica Observer, he took on the thirty (30) UTECH Engineering Students in rotating shifts during the construction phase of the 100KW Solar Power installation Project. Thus a Project that would normally take four (4) weeks took eight (8) weeks, as care was taken to show the UTECH Engineering Students the rudimentary basics of a proper Solar Installation of his magnitude from start to finish.

More interestingly too, the 100KW Solar Power installation Project wasn't actually built by JPS Co but was contracted out to 11 year veteran in Solar Installations, Alternative Power Sources  (APS). So what are the specs of this mammoth 100KW Solar Power installation Project? Is it one of a kind and are there more in the offing? And what about training? Does APS do training and certification in installing Solar Panels?

APS Built 100KW Solar Power installation Project - UTECH not one of a kind but one of many

The UTECH 100KW Solar Power installation was built in three phases:

1.      22 panels providing 5KW installed on the Front Lawn of UTECH
2.      160 250W panels providing 40KW installed on the Engineering building
3.      220 250W panels providing 55KW installed on the Education and Liberal Studies building

The 100KW Solar Power installation cranks out some 450 KWh of power on a daily basis, which works out to be 162MWh of power annually. That allows UTECH to realize savings of JA$550,000 per month or approximately JA$6.6 million per annum, assuming even sunlight during the entire year, to quote APS Manager Damian Lyn: “That amounts to approximately between $500,000 and $550,000 a month in energy cost savings. So it's a very good investment for the campus”.

First off the bat, this Project isn't unique to APS, according to APS Manager Damian Lyn. They built a similar installation 100KW Solar Power installation for AISK (American International School of Kingston) as stated in the article “American International School Of Kingston Goes Solar”, Published Tuesday October 15, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner and “AISK saves big with solar”, published Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Devaro Bolton, The Jamaica Observer.

APS has also done installation at the following Schools:

1.      Jones Town High School
2.      Maldon High School
3.      Chatsworth Primary School

He also has another 100KW Solar Power installation at a villa in Discovery Bay and has plans for installation of a similar system at St Andrew High for Girls. APS is also currently working on a smaller but still impressive 72KW Solar Power installation at Old Fort Village residential complex in St Ann. On that Project APS Manager Damian Lyn commented, saying quote: “That is major in the sense that it is the first time in Jamaica that we are going to have a townhouse complex that is totally off JPS”.

As for formal training, aside from the UTECH Engineering Students, APS has partnered with UTECH and UWI to provide Technical Certification in the installation of Solar Systems, to quote APS Manager Damian Lyn: “It's a course certified by the Electronics Technicians Association in the US. It is certified to the point where you can take the US exams, qualify and use that to get a job in the US should you migrate. That programme started three years ago and we have worked closely with UTech and UWI (University of the West Indies) in different programmes that involve renewable energy and [in] assisting and guiding the students”.

So with that much experience in the Installation of Solar Power installation in Jamaica at High Schools and now a Residential Complex, will his company APS be involved in the JA$62 million dollars worth of Solar Panels at the 15 Schools and the 3 GOJ (Government of Jamaica) Institutions funded by the PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) as reported in my blog article entitled “PCJ to install JA$62 million Solar Panels Systems - 15 Schools and 3 GOJ Institution”?

Stay tuned as a good source of mine indicates that they're in line to get that particular contract from the PCJ!

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