Facilitating Sustainable Development through the Use of Alternative Energy Sources: A Solar-powered Campus Initiative
Facilitating Sustainable Development through the Use of Alternative Energy Sources: A Solar-powered Campus Initiative
The increase in the combustion of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution has led to a rapid rise in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This, in turn, has led to an intensification of the greenhouse effect and global climate change. Modern societies use electrical energy to power their existence. However, in most cases, this electricity is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and its fractionally distilled sections (such as diesel), and natural gas. This practice exacerbates an already grave problem.
In the case of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC), an energy audit was conducted in July 2010 on the Villa Campus. At the time, for the period under review, the electricity consumption and cost were approximately 247,000 kWh and XCD218,000.00 respectively. The Campus then comprised of the classrooms on the original blocks and the learning resource centre, or library. Since then, a recent expansion of infrastructure (including a staff building, students’ union, additional laboratories and three large lecture theatres) and services has significantly augmented electricity consumption at the Villa Campus, which was already on a shortlist of the top energy consumers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Almost 50% of the bill at the time of the audit was for air conditioning. The electricity, presently generated from a fossil fuel source, increases the carbon footprint of the institution. This could be greatly reduced through the use of alternative, renewable energy sources. With reference to page 13 of the energy audit, photovoltaic (PV) lighting and solar air conditioning were recommended as significant energy conservation strategies should there be an increase in energy cost. The operation of the new buildings on the Campus has resulted in a spike in energy cost since 2010, which has necessitated the aforementioned measures. Currently, monthly bills average around XCD40,000.00. This reflects an increase of more than 100% since the 2010 audit.
The SVGCC Environmental Club has conceptualised a project to install and integrate a 22kW PV system at the Campus. The goal of the project is to facilitate the energy-efficient operation of the Villa Campus of the SVGCC. This will decrease the reliance on electricity generated by fossil fuels and, in the process, cut the electrical energy bill of the Campus by at least 20%. The project is expected to cost USD73,688.89 (XCD198,960.00) and will encompass a 10-month life cycle from conceptualization to completion. The Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) is expected to contribute USD49,500.00 (XCD133,650.00) to this project. The SVGCC and the Division of Technical and Vocational Education of the SVGCC will co-fund the project by donating USD6,585.19 (XCD17,780.00) and USD2,103.70 (XCD5,680.00) respectively in “in-kind” contributions. The project will benefit the students of the school and a large section of the Vincentian community, which they represent. The project has educational and outreach components which will promote sustainable lifestyle and consumption principles to Vincentians, thus fostering environmental prudence. There are also economic benefits to be accrued to the Campus by way of reducing its monthly electricity bill. Persons in the community will also be informed of the benefits of solar energy and other alternatives to fossil fuels.
At the half-way stage of the project, the project committee will assess the progress of the project in terms of time and other indicators of success (as outlined in the proposal document). This will also be repeated at the end of the project when the equipment has been commissioned. Site visits will also be ongoing during the installation of the equipment to ensure that best practices are adhered to. Upon completion of the project, the project officer will also prepare a report summarising the outputs and outcomes of the project and the lessons learned during all the stages of the project life-cycle.
















 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Environmental Club
Country:
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,500.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 24,188.89
Project Number:
STV/SGP/OP5/Y4/CORE/CC/15/12
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Due to the nature of the project, the community will be sensitized about alternative methods of electrical energy production (in particular solar energy) and their environmental and economic benefits.
Gender Focus
The composition of the Organization includes 9 Males and 24 females. The project seeks to include both gender and create equal capacity building and livelihood opportunities for men, women and youths.

Grantee Contact

Allanson Cruickshank
Phone: (1784) 457 4503
Email: enviclub.svgcc.vc@gmail.com
 

Address

P.O. Box # 829
Villa , Caribbean ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Tasheka Haynes
Email:

Address

P.O. Box 2338, SeaBreeze Bldg. Arnos Vale
KINGSTOWN, CARIBBEAN