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Belco targets being a 100 per cent renewable energy company

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Belco held an online public forum where it was revealed that the company has long-term plans to use 100 per cent renewable energy
Krista Barnes (File photograph)
Wayne Caines (File photograph)

Belco has long-term plans to become a 100 per cent renewable energy company, an online forum heard yesterday.

Krista Barnes, director of communications and sustainability at Belco, said that a “sustainability team” had been formed and was in the initial phases of investigating how the 100 per cent target could be reached.

Ms Barnes said: “We made a commitment to say we are here to do everything in our power to become a sustainable company.

“We are ensuring that our grid is stable and that once renewables do come online we can accommodate them.

“Also within the team, we are working under the advisement of the Regulatory Authority and are looking to execute the IRP [Integrated Resource Plan] which states that we will be 85 per cent renewable, but we are hoping that we can push that to 100 per cent.”

The forum outlined Belco’s operations and provided an opportunity for people who had registered to take part to ask the company questions.

It was hosted by Wayne Caines, president of the Ascendant Group and Belco, and included presentations by: Nadir Wade, managing director of bulk generation; Shelly Leman, managing director of transmission distribution and retail; Athanasius Smith, director of procurement and logistics; Mark Pacheco, director of occupational health, safety and environment and business continuity and Ms Barnes.

Mr Wade addressed numerous power outages that have occurred in Bermuda, including a major island-wide power outage last December.

He said that trenching work to replace ageing cables currently under way will go a long way in ensuring that the company’s energy supply is more reliable.

He said: “Upgrades are significant to our company, they are significant to our country and our reliable supply of electricity. Belco has sought to carry out these transmission upgrades over the past two to three years … there has been a remit to ensure minimum disruption.”

In a report submitted to the Regulatory Authority about the island-wide blackout, Belco said there had been an oversight in the commissioning of the North Power Station and “incorrect operating instructions” sparked the island-wide power outage. The full report has not been released.

According to Mr Pacheco, the company is investigating the use of cleaner fuel to help reduce emissions.

He said the company was looking at “all options“ including liquefied natural gas, bio diesel, bio fuels, as well as lower sulphur and carbon options.

He said that emissions were not exceeding any legal limits set in Bermuda but that the company was taking into consideration global standards.

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Published May 13, 2021 at 10:21 am (Updated May 13, 2021 at 10:21 am)

Belco targets being a 100 per cent renewable energy company

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