The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank, at its meeting on 16th May, 2016 approved a US$9.5 Million project for the replacement of all the street lights on the island.
This project, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, will involve the replacement of 21,587 High Pressure Sodium Street Lights and Mercury Vapour Street Lights around the island with high efficiency LED street lights. Currently, the Government of Saint Lucia spends over $11 million every year on the cost of street lighting on the highways and roads on the island. This expenditure represents over one third of the Government’s total annual expenditure on electricity.
It is anticipated that after the current stock of street lights are replaced with more energy-efficient LED lights, the annual savings to the Government will be approximately 60% or a little over $6 million. Therefore, on the LED Street Lighting project alone, the Government would have fulfilled its promise to reduce Government expenditure on electricity by 20% in the Public Service, well before the 2020 target it set in 2011.
In addition to saving significant money for the Government, the LED Street Lighting Project will reduce the total quantity of oil imported into Saint Lucia andreduce overall national energy consumption.
In commenting on this project, Saint Lucia’s Energy Minister Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, who conceptualized the initiative and made the approach to the CDB for financial support, said that this project is a key component of his Ministry’s and the Government’s sustainable energy programme.
He indicated that in addition to freeing up a significant amount of Government revenue that may now be used by Government for other purposes, the reduction in energy demand will help Saint Lucia meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Change Agreement to reduce on the production of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation.
He concluded by indicating that once again, the Government of Saint Lucia had shown itself to be a pioneer in sustainable energy initiatives in the Caribbean and his ministry was very pleased to be associated with this important project.