AMMAN (JT) - The Ministry of Public Works and Housing plans to start using solar energy soon to power streetlights in a step towards utilising alternative energy sources.
The ministry has prepared a database of local companies with experience in solar energy, in addition to several international companies, Sami Halasa, the ministry’s assistant secretary general for roads, said on Saturday.
“The ministry will benefit from the experiences of several European countries that make use of solar energy in street lighting. The new plan is expected to cut down state expenditures by millions,” Halasa told The Jordan Times yesterday.
The ministry will start using sunlight in a pilot project that will be implemented on the Amman Ring Road and Hashemiyeh-Balama Street, which are currently under construction.
“When we floated tenders for constructing these roads, we stipulated that the streetlights must operate via solar energy instead of electricity. Currently, each lamp pole with double bulbs costs the country JD45 annually,” Halasa said.
Lighting the streets using solar energy will not cost the country anything, the official said, adding that the ministry will apply the initiative all streets which will be established across the country.
Lighting the country’s streets costs about JD8 million annually; if the pilot project is implemented throughout the Kingdom, it will save millions which can be directed into development projects, he noted.
Underlining the project’s efficiency, Halasa said street lamps working on solar energy will be fitted with cells, which will store daylight and use it during the night.
He noted that the project is also applicable in winter, as three hours of sunlight are enough for lighting the streets, while batteries installed in the lamp poles will operate during cloudy days.
The ministry plans to use solar energy for lighting government agencies in the future, but this will require more study, said Halasa.