AES unveils proposed plans for Solar Array at Bulls Head Car Park

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Editor's Choice, Featured Article, Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

Bulls Head Car Park Solar Array

Alternative Energy Systems (Bermuda) Ltd. (AES) today releases its proposed plans for a 1.12MW solar array which would be installed above the top level of Bulls Head Car Park. The estimated energy production of the system in the first year would be 1,652MWh. The system would feed directly into the Corporation of Hamilton (CoH) Depot building and offset dirty fossil fuel energy that is currently purchased from Belco and used by the Corporation’s properties. It is proposed that the system would be owned and operated by an investor consortium that would achieve a return on investment through the sale of energy to the Corporation at preferential rates for the municipality. The Corporation would receive the benefits of long-term fixed preferential electricity rates, access to energy from a renewable source and shading for its top level parking area.

The system would utilize the world’s most advanced solar technology, the SunPower X-21 345watt solar panel. With an unprecedented 21.5 percent efficiency rating, the X-21 345 panel delivers more energy and higher reliability than conventional solar panels and therefore offers a higher capacity than any other supplier.  The new SunPower panels have received third-party validation for world record efficiencies from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), an independent third-party assessor. The X-21 345 panel is manufactured with SunPower’s third-generation Maxeon® solar cells which are built on a solid copper foundation for high reliability and performance.  This foundation makes the panels virtually impervious to Bermuda’s humid, salty and windy environment.  As a result, the proposed 1.12MW system is backed by SunPower’s industry leading, 25-year combined product and power warranty, and AES’ proven track record and experience in successfully undertaking and completing the largest commercial solar arrays installed in Bermuda to date.

The system would be supported above the top level of the car park with a steel structure that ties into the existing framework. The double array design would tilt to the south to offer added energy production and allow for rain run-off. A water management system and an LED lighting system would be included. AES would also incorporate the Island’s first electric car charging stations into the array for motorists who purchase electric cars and would like to re-charge at the car park.

“I am extremely excited about the possibility of delivering this project to the City of Hamilton and to Bermuda. This project would represent a significant step toward Bermuda becoming environmentally sustainable. Not only would the proposed project provide social and environmental benefits for Bermuda,” said Mr. Madeiros, “but the array would incorporate electric car charging stations for motorists who adopt this emerging technology in the coming years. This has the opportunity to pass along the environmental and financial benefits of generating power from the sun to all of Bermuda.”

“The project would also provide jobs at a time when many Bermudians are struggling financially. AES is an all-Bermudian owned and operated company and will only employ Bermudians during the course of the build, primarily those who are skilled in the construction and electrical trades.”

AES first presented its proposal for a 1.12MW solar array to the CoH in May of 2012. A formal Request For Proposal (RFP) for the proposed project was issued by the CoH in December 2012, with a submission deadline of January 31st, 2013. On January 25th, 2013 the CoH notified RFP respondents by email that it was suspending the RFP so talks could take place between the Corporation and Belco on the topics of interconnection to the Belco grid and a purchase rate for electricity.

“AES is looking forward to the suspended RFP process proceeding again soon and welcomes the opportunity to bid fairly on the proposed project with all other interested parties.”

According to the 2011 Bermuda Energy White Paper, the Government has established a target for 30 per cent of electricity to be generated by renewable energy sources by 2020. The clean power generated by this array would offset 1,307 tons of dangerous carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere annually and also offset the consumption of 3200 barrels of oil per year from fossil fuel based electricity generation.

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