St George’s solar proposal criticised for greenfield site plan
A proposal to erect a solar farm in St George’s has got mixed reviews from environmental groups because of its plan to use of undeveloped land.
The planning application, submitted to the Department of Planning earlier this month, proposed a 6 megawatt solar power plant on land east of Ferry Reach Park.
Eugene Dean, the chairman of environmental charity Greenrock, said that the charity was a strong advocate for renewable energy and solar developments, but that green spaces also had to be protected.
Mr Dean added: “There's more than enough roof space to fit most of the solar generation that will ever be required.
“We feel that the priority should be to use existing buildings and brownfield sites.
“There's loads of space on old water catchments and other sites that could be used – the government and quangos should put tenders out as soon as possible for solar development on this land.”
He added that the application appeared to be speculative and improvements could be made to improve the amount of power generated
Mr Dean said: “An east/west array could allow many more modules by eliminating inter row shading.
“This would use less land per kWh generated, but would be an even more intensive use of land.
“Larger modules would have less non-generating 'dead space' for frames and gaps between modules, and module efficiency could be better.”
Kim Smith, the executive director of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, said she was also concerned about the use of greenfield land.
Ms Smith added: “In the absence of a collective vision for our very small island home, we are likely to hear people berating environmental groups who don't support the application for a solar farm on open space.
“However, it is simply not the right place for it – as was suggested in one of the comments to The Royal Gazette article, there are abandoned water catchments that are more suitable for such initiatives.”