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Solar energy shines on National Museum

The National Museum of Bermuda has adopted solar energy through a partnership with Land Rover BAR, renewable energy investment company Low Carbon and the Stempel Foundation.

The ribbon was formally cut on the new solar system this afternoon, promising lower carbon emissions and reduced energy bills for the museum.

A total of 194 high performance solar panels have been installed on the museum’s northwest rampart by BE Solar, and are expected to generate more than 93,600 kWh of clean energy, save 43 tons of carbon dioxide per year and cut the museum’s electricity bills by as much as 20 per cent.

According to BE Solar, the project represents the largest ground-mounted solar installation on the island.

For Land Rover BAR, who sponsor the UK’s America’s Cup entry, the project was part of their commitment to be the world’s most sustainable sports team, with the panels helping to offset the energy used by the team’s Dockyard base.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO for Land Rover BAR, said: “Whilst the sailing community will be closely watching the racing in Bermuda over the coming weeks, it’s important that we also leave a positive legacy. The solar panel installation at the National Museum is important in helping to reduce the team’s short term impact, but also for offsetting our carbon footprint and helping to demonstrate how we can build sustainable island communities.”

Meanwhile, James Hallett, chairman of the National Museum, expressed his gratitude for the lasting contribution made by the partnership.

“The importance of this installation can’t be underestimated,” he said. “Not only is it helping to reduce our carbon footprint, and will help educate local young people, it’ll also significantly reduce our energy costs. We expect our electricity bills to fall, and this means we can dedicate more funding to cultural heritage preservation.”

Roy Bedlow, chief executive of Low Carbon, also noted the long-term benefit the installation will have, saying the UK-based company were delighted to support both the museum and Land Rover BAR.

“We also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this legacy project. Land Rover BAR are drawing attention to the importance of sustainability, and showing their commitment to giving back to the communities they’re part of during training and competition. I can only thank and congratulate them for making a difference and for setting an example that we should all look to emulate.”

And Travis Burland, sales and engineering director for BE Solar, said: “This will provide the National Museum of Bermuda with notable sustainability benefits, both in terms of its carbon footprint reduction and a significant decrease in their energy costs. As a result this project has seriously empowered the ongoing preservation of Bermuda’s cultural heritage.”