Leading Jamaican solar energy company Alternative Power Sources (APS) yesterday donated six LED flood lights to the Laws Street Trade Training Centre in Central Kingston, bringing joy to founder and operator Sister Mary Benedict who said the gesture was like Christmas coming just before Easter.
“I feel great about it,” Sister Benedict told the Jamaica Observer as APS founder and Managing Director Damian Lyn made the presentation. “We have been struggling for a long time. This institution started 35 years ago and the whole intention was to try to empower women and men by training, so that’s why it’s called the Laws Street Trade Training Centre.”
The centre operates a bakery, which is its only income-generating project, and once offered home economics training free to young ladies and boys.
Lyn said that the lights, valued at $480,000, will provide a total of 240 watts to the property, which is “definitely in need of energy-efficient lighting”.
Asked what influenced him to make the donation, Lyn said he went to the centre recently after seeing that it had put out a tender for renewable energy.
“When I walked the property and I found out what times they operate the bakery — from 2:00 am to 8:00 am — they are not going to benefit from solar at that time. So I asked Michael Chong, the manager, what could we help with otherwise,” said Lyn, whose company has contributed solar energy products to schools and churches over many years.
That discussion resulted in yesterday’s donation.
“I actually ride past here two days a week. This morning I rode past here and the entire area at the back has no light,” Lyn said. “These flood lights are LED, which will provide energy efficiency and, at the same time, security.”
Sister Benedict agreed, but noted that the centre is protected by the community, which she has served for 53 years..
“People have respect for this place. We have not had any break-ins or robberies,” said. However, she added: “We are more than grateful for the lights.”