Solar-power system is biggest in Hamilton
The biggest solar-power system in Hamilton is being installed.
The City of Hamilton is covering the roof of its works depot in Laffan Street in Pembroke with 210 solar panels, covering 3,765 square feet at a cost of $286,000 to save money and help protect the environment.
Ian Hind, the city’s senior engineer, said the solar system would generate up to 103,846 kilowatt-hours of electricity and save about $37,700 a year on electricity bills.
He added that the depot, which houses the departments of engineering and human resources, was a big user of electricity.
Mr Hind said: “You have the lighting, you have the air conditioning and attached to this building is a sewage pump station and that’s running 24/7. Also linked electrically to this building is Bull’s Head car park.”
He added: “There are about 80 people operating out of here and we have staff working 22 out of 24 hours. Our electricity bill is very high.”
The senior engineer said the investment in a system that could last up to 30 years was worthwhile and that the reduction in power charges over the next 7½ years would pay for the installation.
Mr Hind said the depot was ideal for the solar project because it had a large flat roof and was not shadowed by taller buildings.
He added: “It still will not produce enough to satisfy all of our needs so we will always need a little bit more from Belco on any given day.”
Mr Hind said that the solar array will also reduce pollution because power firm Belco used diesel generators, which produced emissions.
He added: “We are using a free source of energy, which is clean and most solar-panel systems have a very long life span.”
The work, which started last month, is expected to be completed in May.
Bermuda Alternate Energy won the contract and the installation is being managed by electrical engineering firm ABM.
Nick Duffy, divisional manager at BAE, said: “This system is engineered to withstand Bermuda’s sometime harsh climatic conditions and the premium Panasonic PV modules and SolarEdge module electronics both carry 25-year performance warranties.”
Mr Hind said the Laffan Street solar array was part of a drive by the city to go green.
Streets lights are being fitted with more efficient LED bulbs and the Bull’s Head car park off Dundonald Street now has all LED lighting.
Mr Hinds also hopes to install solar panels at the sewage pumping station on Front Street.
The city also wants to replace conventional light vans and trucks with electric-powered vehicles.
Mr Hinds said: “Being a small city, our mileage is very low, which lends itself to electric vehicles.”