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Green power burns brightly in Bermuda

A recently introduced energy buy-back programme and a handful of Government incentives have seen a boost in the adoption of renewable energy on the Island.

Companies that install solar energy systems have told

The Royal Gazette the number of installations ordered have doubled.

They said the Planning Department has received 13 applications for solar panel installation and another nine building permits for development that includes the technology as part of the proposal.

According to Belco, 20 households have begun putting electricity into the grid through its interconnection policy which came into effect in November.

The policy enables residents to put excess electricity back into the Belco grid and be paid for the energy at the market rate.

Tim Madeiros of Alternative Energy Systems said demand has increased steadily over the past three years.

In 2008, the company worked on two installations, generating 9.64kw. This year, the company tripled those figures with six installations and a capacity of 45.4kw.

He said that the company already has seven confirmed orders for next year. In total, those installations will produce more than 100kw.

“The message about the financial and environmental benefits is proven with each installation, which is driving confidence in the technology,” Mr Madeiros said. “As the price of oil increases the investment into solar will become more attractive.”

Andrew Davis of Solar Bermuda said he expects to double his company's sales and installations next year.

“We currently have 11 customers who are officially selling electricity back to the grid,” Mr Davis said. “We are under contract for another eight photovoltaic systems, all of which will be grid tied and able to sell power back to Belco.

“With the recent announcement of the Belco interconnection agreement and the Government incentives already in place, solar energy systems are becoming more feasible both from an environmental and economic standpoint.”

Environmental group Greenrock said the public is becoming more aware of the long-term benefits of an investment in renewable energy, both in reducing power bills and increasing the value of the property.

The organisation encouraged Government to make information and the necessary forms more easily available for the public to encourage greater adoption.

“It also supported creating an independent energy advisory trust or fund to help more people and businesses benefit and recommended that Government incorporate renewable technology in its upcoming projects.

“More Government buildings and subsidised homes or properties should utilise this technology to help lower the costs that are currently being paid by public funds,” a Greenrock spokesman said.

“Several buildings in the last five years have been deployed with little or no use of renewable technology.”

The Island is seeing a big increase in demand for solar panels like these.

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Published December 22, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 22, 2010 at 7:00 am)

Green power burns brightly in Bermuda

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