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Local firm fired from ’The Finger’

Impressive sight: the massive array of solar panels on a disused runway at the airport (File photograph)

A Bermudian firm hired to manage the construction of a major solar energy plant at the airport has been fired, a source said yesterday.

Noesis Consulting Limited were announced in May as the project managers for the six-megawatt solar farm on a 19 acre disused runway – “The Finger”.

The green energy project, in the works since 2015, is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of the year.

The solar project joined Belco and the Tynes Bay waste plant in the exclusive ranks of the island’s licensed power producers this year.

Noesis was included in a list of other firms by Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, after the Regulatory Authority licensed Saturn Solar Bermuda as the Bermudian subsidiary of Saturn Power, the Canadian parent company for the project.

But the Noesis contract was pulled earlier this month as the project neared completion.

The source claimed the developer did not explain its reasoning for the move.

Mr Roban said the deal required Bermudians to be employed at the power plant during and after construction when the contract with Saturn was announced two years ago.

A government spokesman added yesterday that construction was “largely complete and the majority of workers on site throughout the construction of the solar farm were Bermudian”.

He added: “However, if there is any dispute between the developer and the contractor, it would be a matter for those companies and would not involve Government.”

The Royal Gazette sent queries yesterday to Saturn’s president, Doug Wagner to ask for the reason for the cancellation of the deal with Noesis.

A company spokesman said Saturn Power was unable to comment “due to confidentiality restrictions that exist on the agreements for this project”.

Saturn Sun Bermuda, the island subsidiary, is listed as based at its parent firm’s address in Ontario, Canada.

The home affairs spokesman said the developer would appoint a Bermudian firm for “the operation and management of the solar farm – once the construction, testing and commissioning has been completed”.

The solar farm, which uses an array of 24,000 panels on the runway, which juts into Castle Harbour, is expected to start testing in the next few weeks.

The home affairs spokesman added the plant would “hopefully be producing electricity by the end of this year”.

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Published October 15, 2020 at 9:01 am (Updated October 15, 2020 at 9:00 am)

Local firm fired from ’The Finger’

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