The Island Government recently commissioned a pilot project to investigate the feasibility of solar lighting on Saba. This was reported again in The Daily Herald. It is expected to determine if the technology would be suitable in all areas of the island including those with significant cloud cover. The Island Government had been introducing more streetlights throughout the island, including some 60 nostalgic lampposts, which were partly outfitted in The Bottom and are still to be installed in some of the other villages to enhance the traditional outlook. These were financed through the Socio-Economic Initiative (SEI).
The government has also acquired and is looking at environmentally-friendly and cost effective alternatives. The Island Government purchased three solar-powered streetlights from a company that has executed a similar project in Anguilla, using the Island Enhancement Fund. During this test phase Public Works has installed these lights in the area commonly known as “Hell’s Gate Guts.” This chosen area receives more cloud cover on average than other areas of the island. If the lighting proves sustainable in this environment, this technology may be used throughout the island. This is reliable technology using photo voltaic cell panels that collect the sun’s energy by day, stores it and powers the lights at night. The low power consumption of the LED bulbs used and the hurricane wind-resistance of these streetlights are expected to make this alternative optimal for Saba. In a press release Commissioner of Public Works Bruce Zagers stated that “as strides are being made to improve the island’s infrastructure, street lighting is a necessary component. If the pilot project proves to be successful, a solar street lighting project will be further pursued through the Island Development Plan.”