Police surveillance bays powered by sun
In the first of this two-part series in our ongoing Cleaning Up The Mess space, Housing and the Environment Minister Dr ROODAL MOONILAL tells us T&T has begun transitioning to a low-carbon society, starting with the application of solar power as renewable energy in police surveillance bays.
The Cabinet of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago approved the construction of Police Surveillance Bays (PSBs) along the Uriah Butler and Sir Solomon Hochoy highways. Consistent with its Medium Term Policy Framework for the period 2011 to 2014 regarding transitioning to a low-carbon society and promoting green technology, Cabinet also approved the application of solar power for the PSBs.
The Ministry of Housing and the Environment was mandated to facilitate the securing of appropriate specialist services and funding for this purpose, through the MHE’s sister line agencies, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the Green Fund Executing Unit (GFEU). Other stakeholders in this national undertaking include:
• The Ministry of National Security which is the major direct stakeholder with responsibility for the provision of safety and security
• The Ministry of Transport which has responsibility for traffic management
• The Ministry of Works which has responsibility for road traffic infrastructure
• The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service which will be the primary client in the use of the bays
• The Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service and other emergency services which will be secondary clients/users of the PSBs
• The Ministry of Public Utilities which provides expert advice related to contingency plans for the use of grid power as well as the expert input of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (TTEC)
The EMA developed the Terms of Reference and procured a contractor with the necessary specialist capability to execute this pilot project titled Pilot Installation of Solar-Powered Equipment and Solar Power for Surveillance Cameras at Police Surveillance Bays along the Uriah Butler and Solomon Hochoy Highways.
The Minister of Housing and the Environment certified the activity for the purposes of disbursement from the Green Fund and made recommendations to the Minister of Finance with respect to the amount that should be withdrawn from the Green Fund to meet the project’s expenditure.
The EMA continues to manage the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2012. The project’s primary objective is to provide solar-powered infrastructure to allow increased police surveillance along the Uriah Butler and Solomon Hochoy Highways.
Accident and emergency response vehicles, eg fire tenders and ambulances, will also utilise these PSBs during the course of normal operations. This will improve delivery of national security policies and programmes as well as provide enhanced road safety monitoring and accident and emergency response.
Each PSB has an opening in the highway median that is approximately 30 metres, with the acceleration and deceleration lanes on both the northbound and southbound lanes being approximately 100 metres. These sites will allow security and emergency vehicles, on either the northbound or southbound lanes of the highway, unobstructed access to the opposing lanes.
The overall length of each PSB is approximately 230 meters. PSB locations have been identified from Caroni to Golconda, beginning just south of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary and ending at Golconda. Each PSB will be equipped with solar-powered street lights, solar-powered road markers, solar-powered signs and flashing amber lights, and solar power for surveillance cameras. The solar-powered signage includes:
• Police Zone Ahead
• No stopping or turning
• Emergency Vehicles Only
Motorists approaching each PSB from either the south or north will encounter the same sequence of solar-powered infrastructure advising of their approach and instructing caution.
• To be continued