Hamilton’s largest solar installation
It is hailed as the biggest solar panel installation in Hamilton, and it will generate estimated annual savings of up to 140,471 kilowatt hours each year for the operators of Richmond House.
The projected electricity bill savings from the 276 photovoltaic modules are about $52,000 a year.
“Every company in Bermuda that has a large electricity bill should be looking at this,” Nick Duffy, divisional manager of Bermuda Alternative Energy, said.
His company was chosen to do the installation, which covers about 6,000 sq ft on the roof of the Par-la-Ville Road office building.
The photovoltaic modules are bifacial, which means they collect solar energy from direct sunlight and any that is reflected from the roof onto the underside of the panels.
They are expected to last at least 25 years, and to recoup their purchase and installation costs within the first six years. The electricity generated will be used as a power source for the building, with any shortfall in requirements being made up from the Belco supply.
The project was 2˝ years in the making. Anthony Alves, of JPM Ltd, and project manager for Richmond Holdings Ltd, said: “We’ve always talked about our carbon footprint and reducing that and showing other building owners that it is a worthwhile investment.
“We all need to be conscious of our environment and the use of fossil fuel, and by implementing solar we are chipping away at that.”
He added: “I congratulate the directors of Richmond Holdings for having the vision for moving forward on this exciting project.
“BAE have done an amazing job. Some due diligence had to be done first by the building owners on the roof. We had a group of engineers come up to test the integrity of our concrete slab.”
He said Kaissa removed the old roof covering and replaced it with a new TPO [thermoplastic membrane] that enhanced the final project.
Charles Dunstan, of Kaissa, said the new roof covering has a 20 to 25-year life span, as opposed to the old covering that had to be re-coated every five years.
He said: “With the lack of space up there now, re-coating that roof would have been difficult. So now we have a life span that matches the solar panels, so when the owners come to redo things, they can do everything at one time.”
Mr Duffy, of BAE, which is part of the BAC Group, said the Panasonic modules in the installation are guaranteed to still be producing 90 per cent of their installed maximum wattage after 25 years.
When asked if other companies in Bermuda should look at what has been done at Richmond House, and maybe follow suit, he said: “Every company in Bermuda that has a large electricity bill should be looking at this.”
He said sunshine is a free, renewable energy.
“It makes total sense, and I compliment the owners of the building who are being very progressive. It is currently the largest PV system in Hamilton. It has now jumped to pole position.
“It’s very good that Richmond Holdings are setting the trend for others to follow.”
Among the companies that have a home in Richmond House is Conyers. Paul Naylor, its chief operating officer, said: “We’re delighted to be part of an exciting project. It enhances our sustainability and our green credentials — something that we are very conscious of. There are lots of other benefits, such as cost-saving over the long-term.”
Jens Alers, a director of Richmond Holdings, poured Gosling’s Black Seal Rum in a “roof and solar panel wetting” ceremony to mark the competition of the project.
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