Video: MOU, Electric Buses, Renewable Energy

November 14, 2018

[Updated] Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban is holding a press conference this afternoon [Nov 14] regarding what the Ministry said was an “exciting energy partnership.” We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update 4.05pm: The Government and Rocky Mountain Institute [RMI] signed an MOU for two projects; the first aimed at “developing a strategy for transitioning to an electric bus fleet that will lay the groundwork for a full transition of the transportation sector to electric vehicles” and the second “will identify and prioritize renewable energy projects”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 21-minute replay is below

Update 4.05pm: A Government spokesperson said, “Today, the Government of Bermuda and Rocky Mountain Institute [RMI] signed a memorandum of understanding [MOU] for two projects that aim to transform Bermuda’s transportation and energy sectors and reduce costs for citizens.

“The first project will focus on developing a strategy for transitioning to an electric bus fleet that will lay the groundwork for a full transition of the transportation sector to electric vehicles. The second project will identify and prioritize renewable energy projects and look for ways to build a more resilient grid.

Minister Walter Roban press conference Bermuda Nov 14 2018 (1)

“The signing of this MOU marks the start of the Energy Transition Project in Bermuda—a project that seeks to fully transition Bermuda’s transportation sector and diversify the island’s electricity generation options,” said the Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban.

“This is an exciting day for Bermuda. As this Government moves to transform the future of electricity and transportation in Bermuda to be more sustainable and efficient, I am encouraged by the possibilities that lie ahead.”

Minister Walter Roban press conference Bermuda Nov 14 2018 (2)

“We look forward to working with the Government of Bermuda on this monumental project, and we commend our partners for not only focusing on long-term energy planning, but also for taking steps to transition to a more reliable, cleaner and more efficient public transportation system,” said Islands Program Director at RMI Justin Locke.

“RMI serves as an independent energy advisor and has years of experience planning and implementing clean energy solutions. RMI receives generous support from Virgin Unite, the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Programme and individual supporters.”

Minister Roban’s remarks:

Good afternoon,

I am delighted to have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Home Affairs and The Rocky Mountain Institute.

The signing of this MOU marks the start of the Energy Transition Project in Bermuda – a project that seeks to fully transition Bermuda’s transportation sector and diversify electricity generation options in Bermuda.

I am pleased to be joined today by Justin Locke, who serves as Director of the Island Energy Program and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Institute team. I am pleased to have the Minister of Tourism and Transport The Hon. Zane DeSilva here with me today also.

This is an exciting day for Bermuda. As this Government moves to transform the future of electricity and transportation in Bermuda to be more sustainable and efficient, I am encouraged by the possibilities that lie ahead.

The aim of this project is to start research around creating a more resilient and cost-effective energy future in Bermuda – which includes bus electrification and renewable energy sources.

I would like to thank members from the Ministry who are with us today that have contributed immensely to this – namely, the Director of the Department of Energy Jeane Nikolai, and the Director of the Department of Transportation, Roger Todd.

Our collective goal is to pave the way for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for Bermuda.

I will now turn it over to Justin Locke, Director of the Island Energy Program.

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Comments (27)

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  1. gustav says:

    E-busses ?
    and the power is coming from Belco by burning Oil ?
    or do we need new plants to ensure that enough energy is available ?
    sounds like a booster for some pockets…….

    • Real Deal says:

      in 30 years when we get the air port land back we can put the bus garage up there at point finger so the buses can be charged from that solar array

  2. voltage says:

    Very exciting news Rocky Mountain Institute -RMI is a class act with a deep talent pool.

    Looking forward to updates on progress.

  3. Kimberley Smith says:

    This is the most encouraging news I have seen/heard in a long time.

    • Point boy says:

      Yup! Sounds great!
      Just wait until BIU sinks there teeth into it.

      They make the employees money! (safe)!

      But, this is a guess at best. Who foots the bill till it comes to fruition?

      Me and you!
      Not the BIU!!

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Yes yes, BIU ain’t gonna like it when they find out the garage staff can be cut in half becJse electric buses don’t need oil filters, spark plugs, fuel filters and the like. If they can’t change a bus schedule then this will never happen!! They make drink titty milk but they ain’t that dopey!! Ha ha ha!!

  4. KBB says:

    Its about time we went electric for our bus fleet. Now a days you need to drop back about 75 feet behind a bus so as to not choke on black diesel soot.

  5. puzzled says:

    Looked at the headline, saw Zane and said ‘to myself’………………………..

    Move to England folks.

  6. Stormy daniels says:

    Is this the same as the solar plant we are getting?

  7. You never listen to me! says:

    How much spare juice does the incinerator have.It would be nice if they could supply the demand for free.

    • Real Deal says:

      nice even better than my idea above for now. there will be no need to move the bus garage with this idea. we are moving in the right direction. we can give these saving back to the people to circulate in the economy Loooooong over due. i been saying get rid of the old bus company for so long.

  8. Deonion says:

    Another MOU? What has to happen to turn it into an actual contract?

  9. Ringmaster says:

    Funny how the PLP and their rent a crowd screamed where is the RFP when the OBA signed the airport contract. No RFP for electric buses and no word from the PLP rent a crowd. No surprise of course.

    • Enforcer says:

      Unless I missed the RFP,this is no different to the current Airport project. Overseas company with Bermudian insider sees opportunity to court Govt, they fall hook line and sinker, no RFP, the company then recommends their partners to provide services or equipment. DEJA VU. Not a peep from PLP supporters!!! I have no problem supporting these initiatives but come correct PLP you are doing the same thing as OBA!!!!

      • sandgrownan says:

        There’s no hypocrisy the PLP doesn’t ignore.

        Zane is in the mix, so you know it’s dodgy. The PLP will forever be tainted with the stink of ‘issues’, perceived or real, until Burt cleans house.

  10. Question says:

    In other words, don’t expect any good news on the bus situation for years.

  11. Coffee says:

    It all makes sense .

    Diesel is shipped .

    Belco buys diesel .Government gets tax at point of sale .

    BELCO converts diesel to energy .

    Government buys energy to power electric bus .

    Belco laughs at stupidity of government.

    Government better off buying diesel for bus .

  12. Ants says:

    Great news I’m proud of this government now if y’all could
    Either build a solar array or power the bus garage from tynes bay incinerator.

  13. Hair says:

    Wow, can Zane reach the peddles to the new electronic busses??

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh boy! I see lots of ski/fact finding trips to Colorado coming up. Snowmass is a premier Colorado ski town. Boulder, CO. is not a bad place either. A very green minded university town but last time I was there they still were using diesel buses inn a town that for the most part is quite flat.

  15. Hey says:

    Electric buses cost about 1.6 x cost of a diesel buse. Electricity isn’t free to recharge them. No RFP, no cost v benefit analysis.

    This stinks. You and I will pay for this. Makes no sense as a benefit for Bermuda, Is someone getting paid?

  16. Wandarin says:

    Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for…this reminds me…I like long walks … especially when they’re taken by people who annoy me.
    And on a lighter note;-) I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out I lock every other one.
    I figure no matter how long somebody stands there trying to pick the locks…they are always locking three.
    How many politicians does it take to hold a piece of ******* paper?
    This reminds me…it REALLY does…Stupidity is far more facinating than intelligence…after all …intelligence has it’s limits.

  17. Kathy says:

    Very refreshing to see this non-profit organisation helping Bermuda tackle its energy transition. RMI has very impressive resources at its disposal and it is exciting to see them finally “getting a foot in the door” in Bermuda. Roban is a breath of fresh air, finally, in the Government of Bermuda! So, hats off to him and a big thank you for tackling one of Bermuda’s most pressing issues – energy security and transition to renewables.

    This has been so long overdue and I don’t think they would have been able to get a toe in the door under the old OBA leadership. Interesting to hear that the RMI have “known about Bermuda” for a VERY long time and have had their eyes on us. Also very telling that they weren’t invited to Bermuda prior to now, especially with a zero cost to Bermuda for their services! Very very telling about the former Government!

    I hope the public is submitting support for Better Bermuda Energy Plan at electricity @ rab . bm before the deadline of November 30th. This is your Energy Future, Bermuda and your turn to speak up and say “enough is enough with our reliance on old fossil fuels and overly expensive energy costs”!

  18. Kathy says:

    Very, very interesting! Minister Roban, you are finally a breath of fresh air in the Bermuda Government. The RMI comes very well staffed with exceptional resources at its disposal. The fact that the RMI is a non-profit and they are willing to help Bermuda with our energy transition at zero cost is a very welcomed revelation.

    So nice to see the RMI finally get its “foot in the door” in Bermuda. It was interesting to hear they have “heard about Bermuda for a VERY long time” and also interesting that they have never been invited to sign an MOU prior to now, especially at zero cost, under the old OBA. This press conference is quite telling of exciting things to come from today’s Energy Summit and the future of the island’s electricity supply and transportation sector.

    We should all be fed up with BELCO’s continued reliance on fossil fuels and high costs for our energy supply. If you haven’t already submitted your support for the IRP called Better Bermuda Energy Plan, please do so before the deadline of Nov 30th at electricity @ rab . bm. Remember it is your energy future! You have a say in how things will be run for the next 5 years. The energy plan belongs to all of us and BELCO must follow the final IRP. Submit your comments today!

  19. BermyFox says:

    It was back in April that Mr. Sousa and one of his employees brought a proposal to government regarding electric buses. It only took them 7 months to finally see this as a good idea. I just hope they give credit where it’s due.