Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Caribbean LED Lighting receives backing for its WINSUN energy project


From left: High Commissioner of Canada for Barbados and the
OECS, Richard Hanley, stands with Jim Reid, Chief Executive
Officer of WINSUN; Lisa Harding, Investment Officer with the
Private Sector Development Unit of the Caribbean Development
Bank (CDB); and Joel Branski, Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB) Country Representative for Barbados, at the official signing
ceremony between Compete Caribbean and Caribbean LED Lighting.
Barbadian firm, Caribbean LED Lighting Inc., is the proud winner of the Compete Caribbean Innovation Challenge, with its WINSUN Caribbean Energy Project. The idea behind the WINSUN project is to reduce the region’s dependence on fossil fuels, as well as to increase innovation and job creation within Barbados.

This award is the first of this kind to be given to a Barbadian company. Having now successfully won the bid, the company will be able to further develop its business and increase its export markets through Compete Caribbean technical assistance, valued at US$250 000.

According to Jim Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean LED Lighting/WINSUN, “The WINSUN project is an innovative project conceptualised right here in Barbados and expected to generate around 30 to 50 ‘green jobs’ within the next five years.”  

Reid further noted that the global application of the project will provide real off-grid solutions to Barbados and the rest of the world.

The WINSUN project specifically embodies an innovative vision for Barbados and the wider Caribbean, where the choice of “grid” versus “off-grid” energy supply is real and accessible. Reid has noted that the company has steadily made its mark with projects such as off-grid street lighting at The Villages at Coverley and already the company’s concept has given life to new business models and even competition.

High Commissioner of Canada for Barbados and the OECS,
Richard Hanley, and Executive Director of Compete Caribbean, Sylvia Dohnert, during the signing ceremony to celebrate
Caribbean LED Lighting’s success in winning the Compete
Caribbean grant worth US$250 000.
This new product development will be developed in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, through the Compete Caribbean award of the US$250 000 match funding grant, under its Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund (EICF) Innovation Window, which supports the development of a renewable energy product, that offers an off-grid option.

In that light, Executive Director of Compete Caribbean, Sylvia Dohnert, has lauded the effort of Caribbean LED Lighting in pushing the WINSUN project.

“The WINSUN project is a shining example of innovation, responding to current local dynamics and addresses the most major energy concern in Barbados,” she noted.

“It is a resounding success story for Barbados, for Compete Caribbean and for the region. The company’s focus is on being the primary supplier of high quality, economical LED lighting solutions and this grant will no doubt go a long way in helping them achieve their goals,” Dohnert remarked.

Making remarks ahead of the official signing ceremony between Compete Caribbean and Caribbean LED Lighting at the company’s headquarters in Building #3 Square Foot Complex, Lower Estate, St. Michael, Barbados recently, High Commissioner of Canada for Barbados and the OECS, Richard Hanley, noted that Canada is proud to partner with the joint (Compete Caribbean) programme contributing $20 million towards this programme, which is being implemented between 2010-2016.

“WINSUN’s project will create an opportunity for wind and solar energy efficiency in Barbados and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this technology in Barbados and beyond,” Hanley stated.

Also making remarks at the signing ceremony, Lisa Harding, Investment Officer with the Private Sector Development Unit of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), noted the need for such a project, given the high price of electricity to date and the country’s vulnerability to external shocks and world market prices. (RSM)

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