Jamaica is an importer of petroleum products and, given that one of the goals of the Jamaica’s National Energy Policy 2009-2030 includes the use of renewable energy resources up to 30% of installed capacity by 2030 (recently increased to 50% by the Prime Minister), several government and private sector institutions have embarked upon the objective of reducing their dependency on fossil fuel based energy sources and have turned to renewable resources.
In 2014, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja), entered into an arrangement that saw the gifting of a 100kW PV energy system to the university. The PV energy system is comprised of three separate installations: 5kW ground mounted on the front lawn, 40kW on the roof of the School of Engineering Building (SOE), 55kW on the roof of the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies (FELS). Since the commissioning in 2014, the 100kW PV energy system has significantly impacted the electric utility bill of UTech.
This work presents the energy and economic impact the PV energy system has had on the utility bill of the university. Challenges encountered in the operation and maintenance that have affected system output will be discussed.
Therese Chambers is current Head of School of Engineering at the University of Technology, Jamaica and is also a professional electrical engineer, who has worked in the construction, sugar and bauxite industries in Jamaica before working at the Rural Electrification Programme Ltd, (now National Energy Solutions). In 1998 she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Information Systems Engineering at the London South Bank University and graduated with a distinction in 1999.
In 2000 Therese joined the faculty at the University of Technology Jamaica as a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Programme. Her main focus was the delivery of computer programming and software engineering courses to electrical engineers students. She then went on to pursue the Post Graduate Diploma in Education at UTech, Jamaica and officially became a trained teacher.
In 2005 Therese began doctoral studies at the University of Manchester in the UK and graduated with a PhD in Electrical Energy and Power Systems where her thesis was on “Rural Electrification with the inclusion of hybrid and renewable energy resources”. She returned to Jamaica in 2008 to her position at UTech, Jamaica and has since been involved in projects focusing on energy such as the JPS/UTech 100 kilowatt PV Energy System installed at the Papine campus of UTech. She was also the UTech Ja. project manager for the EU-funded capacity building project, PROCEED Caribbean, that had as its main focus, energy education and future planning.