Success in Jamaica: LED Street Lights

The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) is a power utility that also oversees public lighting services throughout the country. When the company was tasked with modernizing its nationwide streetlighting system, it turned to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency for new strategies and best practices to achieve this important goal.

JPS set out an ambitious plan for its Smart Streetlights Project: Implement 110,000 light emitting diode (LED) streetlights, as well as intelligent controls and metering capabilities for revenue generation. LED streetlights deliver enhanced reliability and significantly longer lifespans than traditional streetlights. When networked, LED streetlights can alert utilities of outages, which improves response times for repairs and helps address non-technical losses.

These modernization goals were designed to reduce energy and maintenance costs, improve safety conditions and provide the foundation for future smart grid investments.

To achieve this transformative change, JPS sought USTDA assistance to develop plans for the project’s full-scale implementation. In response, USTDA hosted representatives from JPS in the United States where they connected with U.S. manufacturers to learn about cutting-edge technologies that could advance their goals. USTDA complemented the visit with assistance that established the technical and economic viability of the project, including a life-cycle cost analysis for various technology options. USTDA technical assistance also helped JPS finalize its request for proposals to accelerate implementation of its Smart Streetlights Project.

“Smart Streetlights will deliver tangible benefits to the country,” said Gary Barrow, JPS Chief Technology Officer. “In addition to lowering energy costs and improving energy efficiency, Smart Streetlights will also reduce the carbon emissions from power consumption – a boon for the environment.”

With USTDA’s study as a project implementation guide, JPS has completed more than one-third of all installations, with plans to convert all streetlights across the country to LEDs by 2021. The project is comprehensively building a more modern and efficient power infrastructure in Jamaica, and includes U.S. technologies from companies in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina.

CIMCON Lighting, a project beneficiary from Burlington, MA, provided streetlight control solutions for the project. CEO Anil Agrawal said, “Having the opportunity to present CIMCON’s streetlight control solutions to the JPS delegation proved instrumental in helping CIMCON to be selected as the vendor of choice for this important initiative and will enable us to help Jamaica fully realize their vision of becoming a connected nation.”

Summarizing the project’s success, USTDA’s Acting Director Thomas Hardy said: “This shows USTDA at our best: By offering top-level technical assistance and forging partnerships with American companies, we helped JPS meet one of its most important objectives and helped produce a brighter future in Jamaica.”