A major arena goes green
By Dana Niland
Jamaica’s National Indoor Sports Centre is going solar, as part of a $170,000 USD initiative by the country’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining.
The venue will be outfitted with solar panels fit to generate 100 megawatts of energy, which will significantly reduce its dependency on the national electricity grid, thereby lowering its high cost of energy.
When fully operational, the Indoor Sports Centre uses a total of about 500 megawatts of energy, said Minister Phillip Paulwell, who said the facility would be able to sell the surplus energy back to the national grid.
“We feel confident that the 100 KWH that you generate from this facility will enable you to earn enough revenue to offset what you will need to pay JPSCo [Jamaica Public Service Company],” he said.
Sporting associations have taken issue with the facility’s high rental costs since its opening in 2003, when it was built to stage the World Netball Championships.
Minister Natalie Neita-Headley, who has long called for the solarization of the building, welcomed the project for its potential to majorly reduce rental costs, allowing promoters of athletic, entertainment, and business events to more easily utilize the venue.
This project will be developed through the newly formed company NESOL, which is striving to create renewable energy solutions that expand the reach of electricity to rural areas.