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Wave power could be answer to electricity needs as pilot scheme considered

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Illustration of underwater operations by green energy company Seabased.

Wave power has the potential to meet all the island’s electricity demand, the home affairs minister said today.

Walter Roban added a move to wave generation would also lead to cheaper bills for consumers.

Mr Roban was speaking as he announced an agreement with international energy firm Seabased, which is considering setting up a wave energy farm off the island.

He said that moves to get the Regulatory Authority to consider licences for new energy technology development, such as the Seabased project, would go before Parliament early next year.

Mr Roban added “On completion of the project, the 40 megawatts wave park will provide about 10 per cent of Bermuda's energy needs.

“I am confident that this pilot will prove to be a success.”

Mr Roban said a wave farm would put Bermuda ahead of the pack in the race for green energy.

He added: “We are the first jurisdiction in this region – North America, South America, and the Caribbean, to have this technology deployed, or have the opportunity to deploy it.

“I believe the timeline for once everything is in place is about 18 months for them to actually have their technology deployed in our waters.

“It is our hope over time that this will help to lower the cost of energy in Bermuda. That’s our main goal here.”

Wendall Brown, left, and Laurent Albert, right, join Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, at a press conference today to announce plans for a tidal energy electricity system for Bermuda. Mr Brown is the Bermuda representative of Seabased and Mr Albert is the chief executive officer (Photo supplied)

Laurent Albert, the chief executive officer of Seabased. said: “We wish to plan the deployment in phases, starting with 2 megawatts and then we will scale up to 40 megawatts in the course of around four years.”

Mr Roban added: “Wave power could, theoretically, provide more than 100 per cent of the current electricity consumption.

“Wave technology is known to be relatively stable, operating 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Mr Roban said a wave farm would also prove Bermuda was committed to clean energy alternatives as outlined at the recent COP26 climate crisis summit in Glasgow.

Mr Roban added: “This for our island, is an excellent opportunity for us to show that we are serious about that transition.“

He said that a “significant amount of negotiations” were held before a site known as BM 1.5, north east of St George’s, was selected.

Mr Roban added that the Government had to ensure the location chosen would “provide the needed amount of wave energy, produce minimal disruption to our shipping lanes, strike a balanced approach with the fishing industry in that area, have no impact on whales that might be migrating through the area, or on areas where commercially important fish species may spawn, not harm protected species, including coral and seagrass, and avoid impact to any marine heritage”.

Seabased is already involved in energy projects in Sweden, Finland and Ghana.

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Published November 23, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated November 23, 2021 at 11:53 am)

Wave power could be answer to electricity needs as pilot scheme considered

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