What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Friday, 10 July 2009

Bermuda proposes a solar PV farm

This is certainly good news. Belco, the electricity monopoly on the island, is looking at several options for adding renewable energy to it's grid supply. The 56 acre farm would supply 10MW's of power if constructed. I heard about this plan several months back and at the time noticed no projected start date or date of completion. That doesn't look to have changed. So at this point it's talk, positive talk no doubt but just talk. It is good to see they have taken bids though.

Last I heard the implementation of net metering island wide was still a talking point. This essentially denies householders and businesses from producing their own grid tied electricity to lower their extremely high electricity bills and maintains Belco's monopoly on supply.

This plant would replace 2.25% of the islands electricity needs provided by burning oil in the Belco plant saving 22,500 barrels of oil.

Interestingly, the breakdown of one of the Belco generators looks to lead to rolling blackouts. Perhaps this will convince the local populace of the folly of depending on one source of electricity.

This quote is somewhat laughable, "Bermuda is committed to being an early adapter of renewable energy and they are certainly leading the pack," said Mr. Henderson, who's parent company Sir Robert McAlpine is related to local constructon firm BCM McAlpine." If any thing Bermuda is king of the foot draggers when it comes to renewable energy. Photovoltaic technology is mature and widely deployed. The time for early adapters was 20 years ago.

Here's an excerpt from the article over at the Mid Ocean News;

"Bermuda may see soon the installation of a 56-acre solar farm in the East End in an effort to reduce the island's dependence on oil-generated energy.

Along with four other proposed projects, including a potential wind farm, a tidal energy initiative and two biomass projects, the solar farm would help to offset the pressure on Bermuda's power grid.

The proposed solar farm would see the installment of thousands of sun-catching panels covering 56 acres of the unused runway at L.F. Wade International Airport, also called, "The Finger".

If operating at full capacity, the solar panels would produce enough energy to power approximately 1,500 homes and offset Belco's need to burn close to 22,500 barrels of fuel.

According to the plan, approximately 35,000 to 50,000 crystalline photovoltaic panels would be constructed and would span the southern portion of the runway leaving the northern end open for various airport uses....

Last year, Belco asked several companies to submit proposals on renewable sources of energy in Bermuda. In April, a short list of vendors presented their proposals to Government and five projects were selected to move into an exploratory phase.

Belco gobbles up close to one million barrels of fuel providing power to an estimated 36,000 business and homes.

Last week the company announced proposed plans for rolling blackouts as a result of a broken generator reducing its power-generating capacity by 14.5 megawatts (MW).

If the proposed solar farm were to be installed, it would produce 10 MWs of energy, making up a large portion Belco's energy need.

RES Americas, the company that presented the solar panel project, stresses that they are just in the exploratory phase with Government at this time, answering questions and providing information. They have, however, expressed their excitement over the possibility of working on the project."

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