DBJ supports school solar energy PPP project

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The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the National Education Trust (NET) have embarked on an energy efficiency and renewable energy project aimed at reducing the electricity cost to public schools and ultimately reducing the fiscal burden to the Government of Japan (GoJ). The project involves the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems to generate cheaper electricity for the schools and complements a previous initiative that was undertaken by Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica. The NET initiative is a pilot project with 30 public secondary schools located across the island, selected for participation. If the project is successful, NET will consider rolling out a programme throughout the education sector where it represents good value for money to do so. A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model is being contemplated in order to minimize the upfront capital requirement for the GoJ and to ensure that the project risks are shared with the right private sector partner. The project will engage several stakeholders in the promotion of energy efficiency and the application of renewable energy technology. It is expected that students will be engaged in learning about energy efficiency and PV technology as part of the schools’ curriculum. Administrators will be engaged in assisting in monitoring project and facilitating access to the system by the concessionaire; the Ministry of Education will be engaged in developing a policy to encourage an energy efficiency culture. Using the PPP modality will ensure that financial and non-financial benefits are obtained much earlier than would be the case if the project were to be funded directly by the government.

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