Staff from the Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) recently held a roof wetting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the main structure and roof of the North Power Station (NPS).
The NPS is part of the Company’s $250 million capital plan to ensure BELCO can continue to provide Bermuda’s residents and businesses with safe, reliable and cost-effective power for the future.
The plant is comprised of four 14 Mega Watt (MW) dual-fuel engines that will provide 56 MW of power. Construction on the new plant began in October 2018 and is expected to be completed later this year, with commissioning early in 2020. The new engines utilise the latest technology and will be more automated, efficient and quieter than the engines they replace.
The new plant will, with approval from the Regulatory Authority, allow BELCO to decommission several old engines that have been running for several decades and are increasingly costly to operate and maintain.
Other aspects of the capital plan include the 10 MW Nolan L. Smith Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) that was successfully brought online in April as well as comprehensive upgrades to the transmission and distribution system across the island that are ongoing.
BELCO President Dennis Pimentel said:
“This is a great milestone for our company – one that has been almost 10 years in making. These new engines represent our commitment to building a foundation for the future. Whilst the Integrated Resource Plan envisages a much higher percentage of renewable energy generating platforms, there will, for the foreseeable future, be a need to have a base-load capacity to ensure we can continue to serve the people of Bermuda with safe, reliable and cost-effective electricity. The engines that they will replace are up to 40 years old and are due to be decommissioned. The ultimate goal is to bring down prices for our customers and these new engines will assist in achieving that goal.”