Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (September 28) commissioned 45-kilowatt floating solar panels at the Mona Reservoir. The solar installation is set to bring electricity savings of some one billion dollars annually to the National Water Commission (NWC).
It’s the first phase of a project by the NWC to make its systems energy efficient.
At the commissioning ceremony, Prime Minister Holness explained that the project, once completed, will help reduce the enormous cost of producing, storing, treating and distributing water, which has contributed to the utility company being unprofitable over the years.
Prime Minister Holness hailed the move as a strategic nation-building decision that will benefit generations of Jamaicans.
Noting the government’s progress in upgrading public infrastructure, Prime Minister Holness said: “We need to increase the pace of our nation-building infrastructure decisions as well as our capacity and horsepower to take on major projects because the current infrastructure has reached its limit.”
In addition, the Prime Minister underscored that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations remain a central factor in developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
Prime Minister Holness said: “This Government has shown that we can pursue major development projects, include the people, preserve the environment and improve the general aesthetics so that human development can be maximised.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister assured the public that the dam would maintain its current ambience as the panels would not cover its entire surface. The project will also mitigate the significant volume of water lost to evaporation annually.