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Work begins on museum’s solar project

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Team effort: from left, Elena Strong, museum curator; Travis Burland, from BE Solar; Amy Munro, sustainability officer for Land Rover BAR; Diana Bergquist, of The Stempel Foundation; James Hallet, museum chairman; Matt Cornwell, Land Rover BAR sailor; Joshun Stovell, from BE Solar; and Neil Stempel from the Stempel Foundation (Photograph supplied)

Construction work has begun on a new solar installation at the National Museum that will see electricity bills cut by 20 per cent.

The $300,000 project has been funded by Low Carbon, the UK-based renewable energy partner of Land Rover BAR, and also made possible thanks to a private donation by The Stempel Foundation.

The solar panels will be installed on the Northwest Rampart of Dockyard and will generate more than 93,600 kWh of clean energy per year.

The project, which will be made up of 194 high-performance SolarWorld bifacial glass-on-glass monocrystalline silicon panels, is expected to be completed by the beginning of May.

“The National Museum is delighted to be the beneficiary of this Land Rover BAR legacy project and would like to thank Low Carbon and The Stempel Foundation for helping us to become more sustainable in terms of reducing our carbon footprint and operational costs,” museum chairman, James Hallett said.

“The solar panels will reduce our electricity bills by 20 per cent allowing the museum to concentrate its efforts on cultural heritage preservation. Also a major focus of our museum is Bermuda’s maritime heritage, which makes this gift particularly relevant”.

The solar panels are designed to harness the sunlight from the front and back of the panels and will provide a minimum of 30 years of energy production.

The installation has been specifically designed to withstand Bermuda’s corrosive, humid and hurricane-prone environment.

Skipper for Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie, said: “We have set our goal to be the most sustainable sports team, and feel it is important for our team to have a minimum impact on Bermuda and leave a legacy behind us when we have left Bermuda.

“The solar project is one of the most important projects to be delivered by our partners. Although our goal is to take the Cup home, we want to leave plenty behind us that will benefit the island and its people”.

Roy Bedlow, chief executive at Low Carbon, added: “We’ll be leaving an important sustainable legacy for Bermuda as our project will keep producing renewable energy long after the team has left.

“It is exciting to be working with Land Rover BAR, local businesses and the museum to apply solar energy in an effective, targeted way that will benefit the people of Bermuda for years to come.”

The project will be undertaken by Bermudian firm, BE Solar, and will involve the installation of 3,501 sq ft of solar panels.

Travis Burland, sales and engineering director of BE Solar, said: “This is an exciting legacy project for Bermuda and we are extremely proud to have been awarded this opportunity. Our team is looking forward to installing the most advanced solar installation in Bermuda, which will help the National Museum reduce their operating costs and offset their environmental impact well beyond the year 2047.”