AES Unveils Proposal: Solar Above Bulls Head

April 18, 2013

Alternative Energy Systems [Bermuda] Ltd. [AES] released its proposed plans for a 1.12MW solar array above the top level of Bulls Head Car Park, which would incorporate the island’s first electric car charging stations for motorists who purchase electric cars and would like to re-charge at the car park.

AES said, “The system would feed directly into the Corporation of Hamilton [CoH] Depot building and offset dirty fossil fuel energy that is currently purchased from Belco and used by the Corporation’s properties.

“It is proposed that the system would be owned and operated by an investor consortium that would achieve a return on investment through the sale of energy to the Corporation at preferential rates for the municipality.

“The Corporation would receive the benefits of long-term fixed preferential electricity rates, access to energy from a renewable source and shading for its top level parking area.

“The system would be supported above the top level of the car park with a steel structure that ties into the existing framework. The double array design would tilt to the south to offer added energy production and allow for rain run-off.

Slideshow of the project renderings:

“A water management system and an LED lighting system would be included. AES would also incorporate the Island’s first electric car charging stations into the array for motorists who purchase electric cars and would like to re-charge at the car park.

“I am extremely excited about the possibility of delivering this project to the City of Hamilton and to Bermuda. This project would represent a significant step toward Bermuda becoming environmentally sustainable. Not only would the proposed project provide social and environmental benefits for Bermuda,” said AES CEO Tim Madeiros.

“The array would incorporate electric car charging stations for motorists who adopt this emerging technology in the coming years. This has the opportunity to pass along the environmental and financial benefits of generating power from the sun to all of Bermuda.”

“The project would also provide jobs at a time when many Bermudians are struggling financially. AES is an all-Bermudian owned and operated company and will only employ Bermudians during the course of the build, primarily those who are skilled in the construction and electrical trades.”

AES first presented its proposal for a 1.12MW solar array to the CoH in May of 2012. A formal Request For Proposal [RFP] for the proposed project was issued by the CoH in December 2012, with a submission deadline of January 31st, 2013.

On January 25th, 2013 the CoH notified RFP respondents by email that it was suspending the RFP so talks could take place between the Corporation and Belco on the topics of interconnection to the Belco grid and a purchase rate for electricity.

“AES is looking forward to the suspended RFP process proceeding again soon and welcomes the opportunity to bid fairly on the proposed project with all other interested parties,” the Company said.

According to the 2011 Bermuda Energy White Paper, the Government has established a target for 30% of electricity to be generated by renewable energy sources by 2020. The clean power generated by this array would offset 1,307 tons of dangerous carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere annually and also offset the consumption of 3200 barrels of oil per year from fossil fuel based electricity generation.

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Comments (11)

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  1. GoodIdea BadIdea says:

    Great idea to use the footprint of the carpark for a useful purpose!

  2. Good Idea says:

    **“AES is looking forward to the suspended RFP process proceeding again soon and welcomes the opportunity to bid fairly on the proposed project with all other interested parties,” the Company said.**

    I do find it interesting that they feel the need to state they welcome a fair bidding process. Isn’t that something that should always be assumed. hmmm

    • Spanky says:

      Not necessarily. AES has spent the resources to develop and investigate the idea ie. preliminary engineering, conceptual modeling etc. Perhaps they should be allowed to proceed after the CoH conducts due diligence. Otherwise what incentive does the private sector have to approach entities like Wedco/CoH with bold and innovative ideas? If it can be shown to be a win-win for all stake holders why not take it to the next logical step instead of “opening it up” for others to piggy back onto the AES’ efforts.

  3. George says:

    Why is this proposal being released to the public at this stage if the Corporation’s RFP has been suspended and its dead in the water until BELCO agrees on interconnection agreement with independent power providers according to what is stated above.

    A proposal that provides less than 1% of the Island’s electricity requirements is not significant. A step in the right direction as far as meeting the White Paper/Island’s objectives but not significant.

  4. Deliverance says:

    for goodness sake @George, we gotta start somewhere! at the beginning of the last century 1% of homes had electric light, now look!

    • George says:

      @ Deliverance we have already started somewhere (thanks to AES and others) – there are already three small scale commercial RE projects (Gorhams, Goslings, Lindos – which have all been developed by AES).

      The article is pure advertising for AES and has nothing to do with updating the public of the current state of the project according to the Corporation or BELCO. Its a statement of private business interests pure and simple! I encourage AES to drop the green washing statements/facade and be a little more sincere in their representation!

      My original comment was made more about the over stated nature of the AES proposal (less than 1% is not significant) and questioning the relevance/value of the article if the RFP and project have been suspended!

      • between the lines says:

        @george. after reading the timeline of events mentioned below by duh and the statement “AES welcomes the opportunity to bid fairly on the proposed project with all other interested parties,” perhaps there is some unfair practices taking place so they’ve decided to publish their plans. if belco and the corporation are involved I’m sure AES have an uphill struggle. good luck to them

  5. duh says:

    check out the timeline on this thing. the project was first presented in May 2012….a request for proposals was sent out in December 2012…deadline was 31st January 2013….request was suspended on 25th January 2013 so talks could take place with Belco. sounds to me as if belco pulled the plug (pun) on this project before it could be awarded…here we are in mid April, whats happened with those “talks”?.Don’t be surprised if belco come out with some grand scheme to piggy back off this idea to maintain their monopoly. good on AES to push the envelope.

    • Clear View says:

      Many companies had full proposals in response to the Bullshead RFP which was later suspended. It was not BELCO the pulled or caused any delay. It was purely in the hands of the COH.
      It’s just that this company likes to keep current in the news for publicity. Just like their airport finger proposal which you haven’t heard anything about since last September.
      Get them to put their money behind their articles and actually build something they propose.

  6. Future says:

    And the cost for this 1MW system?

    Despite the hype there is nothing “dangerous” about CO2 as stated here as if it is a fact.

    More Co2 means faster plant growth, more food to feed more people. And AES appears to be glossing over the carbon footprint incurred during the production of their solar panels. Does creating emissions halfway around the world in the process of building panels to produce “clean energy” on the otherwise of the world help the climate…or does the hype help somebody’s pocket.

    Lastly, BELCO imports a million or more barrels of oil a year. This conceptual 3,200 barrels a year represents a whopping 0.32% of that. A nice, if not highly priced gesture but c’mon…Let’s get real folks.

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