CDB approves financing of street light retrofitting project in The Bahamas
The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on December 13, 2018, approved funding for a project which will see 30,500 existing street lights replaced with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. The project is expected to reduce the cost of street lighting to the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas by about 20 percent when it is implemented, saving the country approximately USD3 million a year.
CDB is providing USD14.5 million through a loan to the Government which will cover project preparation assistance, infrastructure works, engineering services, goods and project management associated with the initiative. USD8.9 million of the funding comes from resources provided to CDB by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the Climate Action Line of Credit (CALC). The Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) will implement the project.
CDB Director of Projects, Daniel Best noted that street lighting makes up a significant portion of the Government’s electricity consumption and costs.
“Currently, street lighting accounts for more than 30 percent of the Bahamian Government’s electricity consumption and in fact, takes up 3 percent of the country’s overall consumption. By implementing energy-efficient street lighting, The Bahamas will be able to save money, reduce its fuel import bill and cut its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Best.
The Bahamas becomes the sixth CDB Borrowing Member Country (BMC) to benefit from the Bank’s financing of energy-efficient street lighting projects. Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname have received a combined USD59.3 million to support their shift to more energy-efficient public lighting.
The reduction in energy consumption expected by the retrofitting will contribute to The Bahamas’ targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution made as part of the historic Paris Agreement.
The funding is in keeping with the Bank’s strategic objective to promote energy security in its BMCs by incentivising energy efficiency and smart grid investments.