Local Solar Companies Awaiting Chance To Bid

September 18, 2012

Following the news this morning [Sept 18] that Sol Invictus Holdings Ltd. has unveiled proposed plans for a solar panel system to be installed at the airport, Bermuda Engineering Company Ltd. confirmed that they submitted a proposal to construct a utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant on the airport finger in November 2008.

The Company said that at that time they were informed the land was not available for solar development, and since that time, the entire solar industry in Bermuda, some half dozen companies, have patiently waited for an opportunity to submit their proposals for the airport peninsula, which has the potential to become Bermuda’s largest solar photovoltaic installation.

Travis Burland, Chief Engineer for Bermuda Engineering Company Ltd. said: “It is great to see the airport finger is apparently now available for solar development, though it is important to note that the costs of solar technology already vary significantly between local companies, and a large scale system is unlikely to be any different.

“As this site offers Bermuda’s one and only chance for a solar generation system of this size, it is of the utmost importance that all local companies are given a chance to bid on this project.

“Failure to allow competitive bidding will almost certainly result in the public paying millions of dollars more than necessary for electricity over the next few decades.”

Mr. Burland continued: “In light of this development, we will be amending and re-submitting our original proposal to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy for consideration.

“Unfortunately without formal guidance, we are somewhat unclear as to what criteria proposals will be evaluated upon and what constraints must be addressed in the proposal. To this end, we hope to meet with Government in the near future to discuss this matter in more detail.”

Bermuda Engineering has developed and submitted a range of proposals for various large scale renewable energy/electricity generation projects over the past decade, including:

  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • Offshore Wind
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
  • Combined Heat and Power

Bermuda Engineering Company Ltd. is a fourth-generation Bermudian company founded in 1935, and is dedicated to providing affordable ways for people to reduce their electricity bills by improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy systems.

In January 2010, Bermuda Engineering recommended to Government, and Bermuda First, that a new Green Industry should be considered as Bermuda has great potential to be a showcase to the rest of the world utilizing renewable energy.

A BELCO spokesperson said: “BELCO has stated that we consider ‘the finger’ to be the best potential site for a large-scale solar energy installation in Bermuda. We would certainly support Government issuing a Request for Proposals to develop the site and would be pleased to work with the vendor that wins the contract.”

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Comments (28)

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Proposal Unveiled For Renewable Energy Plant | Bernews.com | September 18, 2012
  1. George says:

    Go you Travis! Tell em like it is bye!

  2. Future says:

    Give them the finger! (the land that is)

  3. plato says:

    This is great

    Let,s hope the red tape is replaced by the carpet to get this up and running asap

  4. Omhsford says:

    “It is great to see the airport finger is apparently now available for solar development, …”

    Well done Travis, as well all know it is not formally available for solar development….

    Basically Sol Invictus (AES) went public with a non-proposal. They were not invited to bid, nor did they go through the right channels. They made a big press conference to splash this all over the media to try and back the Govt. into a corner. There is no red tape the “finger” option was examined and deemed inappropriate for such a development for several reasons.

  5. Think About It says:

    “Bermuda Engineering Company Ltd. confirmed that they submitted a proposal to construct a utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant on the airport finger in November 2008.”

    Hey Travis, are you referring to the proposal RES America (the US company based in Colorado) submitted at your invitation?!! I’d hardly call that Bermuda Engineering’s proposal.

    • Always Watching says:


    • Dear Think About It says:

      Dear Think About It,

      How about going forward we all remain professional and keep the low blows out of the public eye.

    • Roni Trott says:

      Firstly I would like to say that you need to ‘Think About It’ before you open your mouth. To outright target a person on a personal level concerning a business venture is downright unprofesional, unjust and personally, I feel it to be VERY childish!

      Whether Travis comes from a poor background or well to do, it has nothing to do with the issue at hand! To attack his father and his father’s business is merely for self gratification in trying to demean this young man’s character. However, to set you straight there is 75% Bermudians and 25% foreign nationals on the KEMH job site. As I said earlier ‘Think About It’ before you talk. Please do your research next time!

      Foreigners being on any job site in Bermuda has NOTHING to do with the issue at hand. No matter WHO gets the contract for that job there WILL definitely be foreigners working on it – either off Island or on Island. To target foreigners in your statement is downright silly as BERMUDIANS have chased many away and has left us in a financial hole.

  6. Victor says:

    Call me silly, but I smell something akin to cement silos, Bermuda Housing Corp, Global Hue, Bermuda Hospitals Board generic drugs supply, second Dockyard cruise berth, et al similar public/private enrichment schemes lurking somewhere in the background. Does anybody have any idea who the enterprising soul behind all these initiatives might be? What a nice, nice, caring gentleman (or lady) this person must be to so very, very civic minded.

  7. Victor says:

    Oops, I forgot to mention Hopital Pension Fund being directed to an up and coming Bermudian owned financial services startup, a bold move indeed.

  8. stuk says:

    I cannot find, nor do i recall, a proposal being made by Bermuda Engineering in November 2008. There was a proposal from RES America, who is one of Alan Burlands many affiliates, made at a Belco forum held at the Bermuda College in November of 2008.

    From my notes RES put forward a 10MW system covering the 56 acre site at the finger. There was no battery banks included and RES proposed foreign workers and ownership.

    • Nani 1961 says:

      Please re-read the article and notice that it did state “TRAVIS” Burland, Chief Engineer of Bermuda Engineering, and NOT Alan Burland as you state. New blood is in! A bid in 2008 to 2012 shouldn’t even be an issue now, so please come up with the times…

  9. Come on everyone, enough with the negativity….this is only GOOD news for all Bermudians. Regardless of who ends up getting the contract, its a tremendous step in the right direction in terms of energy sustainability, and will enhance our image internationally.

    • Victor says:

      Indeed, let’s just pretend the last fourteen years never happened and the public accounts are all accounted for and in good order – and you accuse those who dare question who might benefit most from the use of these public lands for this project of negativity – my you are a naive and trusting soul, good luck to you in these times. Would you like me to tell you the real deal with the hotel in St. Georges and who stands to profit from the property being flipped (the present owners have no intention of building a hotel as far as I can divine). Or should I try and explain why what is in essence a shed housing the TCD cost so much.

    • Lynns says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. We should allow the tender process to run its course so that Bermuda can get the best outcome.

      • David says:

        What tender process???? Tim Madeiros is canvasing with Vince Ingham and what boards is Ingham on???
        It’s the same old “who you get in bed with”, politics or third world politics.

    • Nani 1961 says:

      I agree with you totally only insecure people will act in this way..

  10. Crabbie says:

    bucket of crabs…..

  11. Think About It says:


    You are some kinda jaded, man, not to mention incredibly negative.

    Exactly which Board(s) are you referring to in your negative comments about Vince Ingham?

    And in terms of a tender process, there will of course be a tender process, once someone issues an RFP.

  12. Think About It says:

    @ Stuk – you are absolutely right. See my prior comment above at 11pm on September 18th. JOKERS!!!

    • Nani 1961 says:

      Think About It – why did you get offended when Vince Ingham’s name was used, however you have the nerve to call others JOKERS?

  13. enuf negativity says:

    I say let the best “BERMUDIAN” man (or company) win. It seems to me that the person with the best qualification and product should win. Tim Maderios has a proven track record with large scale solar projects(Gorhams and Lindos come to mind). I have had his product at my home for a few years and I have been nothing less that extremely satified with his product, his outstanding professionalism and his breadth of knowledge. I hope the typical Bermuda cronyism doesnt play out here.

    • Nani 1961 says:

      Because Tim Madeiros has a record with large scale solar projects doesn’t mean his is the best product? NO. Is Lindo’s and Gorham’s getting the savings they were promised – are they happy with the product? Who knows? I think that Government will have to do a lot of research on ALL bidders before giving any of our hard earned money to ANYONE.

  14. J says:

    I worked for a Solar energy installation company in California in the
    80′s and the batteries are used for back -up – when the cells in the panels run out of energy. So PLEASE BERMUDA – DO NOT SPIN OUT RHETORIC UNTIL YOU LEARN SOLAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY!! SOLAR ENERGY FOR BERMUDA IS

  15. Dear Bermuda,

    Bermuda Engineering currently employs 100% Bermudian staff, and intend to do our best to continue this approach so as we grow our company.

    Bermuda Engineering has been involved with RES since 1997, and were involved in the original solar proposal at Castle Harbour with RES from the very beginning, and introduced them to Bermuda and specifically this site. We worked together to provide a detailed solar proposal. RES has considerable large scale renewable energy experience. This allows our team to work with the various stakeholders and submit fully considered and highly professional proposals.

    We are very sympathetic to Bermudian interest, which is exactly why we think a project of this magnitude deserves to go through the proper RFP process in order to deliver the best and most practical renewable energy solution.

    Let’s do what’s right and most beneficial for Bermuda and Bermudians!

    Travis Burland

  16. Just make sure that they keep the trees around the outside. or it will look like a concrete eyesore and not attractive to hotels etc.. Also put solar panels on buildings in hamilton. Also could cover parking lots, providing shade and option to collect more water.

  17. Solar Energy is the way of the future. It will help us to preserve this great planet. We need to eliminate oil once and for all.