Offshore Wind Energy Study On Bermuda

August 18, 2014

generic ocean e12 offshore-wind-Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Education and Economic Development and Jeanne Atherden, Minister for Health, Seniors and the Environment recently received the final report from the University of California [UCSB] entitled, ‘Offshore Wind Energy in the Context of Multiple Ocean Uses on the Bermuda Platform’.

The Offshore Wind Energy Study was undertaken by graduate students of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, supported by the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB along with the advice and support from technical officers in the Departments of Energy, Environmental Protection and Conservation Services, as well as the Marine Spatial Planning coordinator Kevin Mayall from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

The yearlong research project objective was to assist the Government of Bermuda in evaluating the theoretical viability of offshore wind energy. The project also identified and characterized potential conflicts with other ocean uses and ecological sensitivities, and proposed a spatial analysis model to help identify potential locations for offshore wind development.

The Project was undertaken as a minimum cost collaborative effort between the Bren School and Government in order to provide the UCSB students the opportunity to research and analyze a unique case study that is Bermuda, whilst providing the Government useful theoretical insight into the viability of adopting offshore wind energy technologies for the Island.

Although the study concludes that offshore wind is viable, the Government notes that its findings are theoretical and that any potential wind developer considering proposing a wind farm for Bermuda would need to carry out their own research into the practical and financial viability of proposing such a development.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Marksman says:

    There are a good number of Ideas out there that would be benificial to the well being of Bermuda – unfortunately
    most of them are just Idea’s that never come true such as – [1] The City of Hamilton Warf development [2] Morgans Point
    [3] the Solar Power Plant [4] the Hotel to replace the old Club Med [5] the Hotel on the Southshore [6] the Docking area
    for the Cantainers and the Ships that carry them,[7] the New Air Port [8] the New Golf Course [9] Widning the St.Georges Town Cut Channel the extended [10] Wharf Development in St.Georges [11] and now it’s offshore Windmill/turbine power. make Please make at least one of them come true.

    • X man says:

      it’s all about the MONEY! — the OBA needs to secure INVESTORS for the Money $$$$$ – non of this stuff is coming true without them — Bermuda has no Money. – thats what was wrong with the last Govt. we had -they done all the big projects with the Peoples Money and now were 3 Billion Dollars in Debt.
      So my bye’ this another study, and another dream.– and I do agree with the list of dreams you have.

  2. Paz says:

    On the energy side, there have been a number of studies and proposals for wind, solar and bio mass electricity. Some of these are viable. Unfortunately, Belco has and will continue to successfully oppose these. It is not in their interest to see lower electricity rates for Bermuda residents. No government will stand up to them. It’s a shame.

    • James Herald says:

      Paz: If one is actually viable – then develop it. Contrary to what you say, BELCO does not oppose any of these. The problem is that none so far ARE actually proven to be viable. They are so far just pipe dreams.

      In addition, just wait for Bermudians to start complaining that the wind turbines spoil their view. It WILL happen.

      • Steve says:

        James Herald, are you working for BELCO ? How do you know they’re NOT opposing development of alternative technologies? I think only very recently they employed someone to look at it. That’s really late and progress needs to be accelerated. It’s very easy and extremely profitable to be a monopolist producing energy, day in and day out and maintain status quo. There are alternatives available and they should be implemented as soon as possible. I think the best solution is for the people to take control and responsibility for their lives and energy needs. If everyone installed solar pannels, their own wind turbines, made use of energy pumps and other forms of power generation, in addition to actually save and preserve energy, well BELCO, would have to change, evolve, look at alternatives. Shame it’s always about money not the health and well being of the people and sustainability of the environment.

  3. Y-Gurl says:

    Why are we studying such an old technology, we would be behind the times right out of the gate!

    • Steve says:

      Hi, I think any new development and any alternative would be better than burning oil and polluting the environment. It’s obsurd that such a 100 years old monstrosity is allowed in such a paradise island, considering thee are alternatives available. Let’s discuss the alternatives and actually implement them Y-Gurl.

  4. Mumbojumbo says:

    There is also aquaduct up and gravity turbine on back down at the same time powering various water features, hydro electric sluicing and underwater tidal…….what infuriates me is there are companies that would probably set up initial working models for a return from electricity provided and sold from the endeavor.

  5. Mumbojumbo says:

    Holland could very easily build a causeway that would pay for itslf…..where there is free flowing energy just flowing through…

    • Steve says:

      I maybe joining the old conversation but nothing seem to have been done. What is the root of the problem to implement those new technologies. Anything who’d be better than burning oil to power the island. It’s obscene and obsurd, to the point of perversion.

  6. Kathy says:

    So…the Government partially funds this study and concludes that offshore wind IS VIABLE and then determines “that its findings are THEORETICAL”. What was the purpose of funding the study – to give some college kids something to do for a year – at the taxpayer’s expense?

    Do we in Bermuda want wind or do we want to continue to spew ash in Pembroke? Don’t we have a White Paper to adhere to?


    • Frank says:

      Well done Kathy – did you actually read the report?! Where does it say Government partially funded this study?

      • Kathy says:

        “as a minimum cost collaborative effort between the Bren School and Government” – what does this tell you?

        • Frank says:

          It tells me you are assuming a lot! How do you know those ‘costs’ did not include services in kind/donations? How do you know who paid what? No one does…… so instead of jumping to conclusions and distracting everyone’s attention from whats important (the report itself) how about you read the full report and make comments on the findings presented instead of banging on your disgruntled drum once again?!

        • Victoria says:

          The project was not funded by the Government of Bermuda. It was funded through the school program and an external group. The project was a collaboration with the Government.

          • Kathy says:

            Thanks, Victoria, for the clarification. I took “cost collaboration” to mean that it was somehow also partially funded by the government.

            Frank, you don’t need to be so rude.

            • Frank says:

              Obviously my rudeness has had a positive effect -i.e. getting you to question you assumptions and maybe reconsider your preconceived notions about how the world works – so thanks for the suggestion but I think will continue to be rude(call people out). There is much to be gained from it!

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Anyone been up close to those things? Each blade is over 100′ long. They are massive.

    • X man says:

      LOOKING FOR AND INVESTOR – NOT HERE !…. and who will fly out to secure funds and have to resign there political post to get the -$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and more$$$$$$$$
      that we don’t have.

  8. WhatHeSaid says:

    They are amazing to see….. huge, yet graceful! Another added benefit to these would be the artificial reef system they would create. Creating a base for corals, sea fans, and the like, which in turn will only add to the potential homes for our fishes and other sea creatures. They hold the potential to help the Environment on several levels.

    • Steve says:

      So whats stopping anyone from building one?
      C’mon it’s a no brainer.