Solar panels plan at NSC ‘is progressing’ – Minister
The installation of a solar panels at the National Sports Centre is moving ahead, despite controversy over how the contract was awarded.
Ernest Peets, the minister for youth, culture and sport, recently visited the centre to inspect a new heat pump for the facility’s pool, describing the development as “positive news”.
In a statement released today, Dr Peets said: ““The Government is committed to ensuring an economic recovery that is fair, balanced and a benefit to our entire community. The installation of the new heat pump is positive news and I’m encouraged to see that the energy project at the NSC is progressing.
“Ultimately this project will eliminate the approximately $600,000 spent annually on electricity. This means less taxpayer funds will be spent on electricity at the National Sports Centre while ensuring more renewable energy is generated in Bermuda. The project is also key to getting Bermudians back to work.”
The $3.2 million contract to install the energy-saving micro-grid system was finally awarded to contractor Atlantic Energy Solutions Group in May – almost three years after the company was first given a Letter of Intent by the government to take on the project.
But leaked documents obtained by The Royal Gazette showed that the NSC had to take out a bank loan to fund the project.
Other papers showed that several trustees on the centre’s board had concerns about the contract.
During the site visit Minister Peets was joined by NSC Chair Jache Adams MP, Damon Wade, CEO of Atlantic Energy Solutions Group, Craig Tyrrell, NSC SVP Operations Manager, and James Pace, NSC Facilities Manager.
Defending the contract, today, Dr Peets said: “Atlantic Energy Solutions Group, the contractors for the project, is a locally owned company with all Bermudian staff.
“Currently 15 Bermudians have been employed at the site, and it’s expected that over 25 individuals will be hired during the project. These are jobs performed by plumbers, electricians and masons.”
Jache Adams, a Government MP and chairman of the centre’s board of trustees, added: “I’m pleased to see our vision of independent energy efficiency move closer to reality through the installation of our new heat pump.
“Our athletes and members will welcome the improvement. I want to extend thanks to our partners at Atlantic Energy Solutions Group, the NSC board and staff for their hard work and dedication to bringing this project to fruition. The NSC board is committed to continuing to develop and improve this critical facility.”