Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) is upgrading the Company’s Transmission, Distribution & Retail (TD&R) assets to improve reliability, reduce costs and expand grid capacity.
As part of the transmission upgrade project, BELCO is replacing 40% of its current underground transmission cables that are over 50 years old. Nearly 25% of the cables have served Bermuda for over 60 years.
These cables and other transmission and distribution assets are well beyond their useful lifespans, causing a higher number of faults, system vulnerability and higher maintenance costs.
The grid is currently limited in its capacity to support large-scale generation from renewable resources. The old cables and network were designed for central generation; they were not designed to accommodate generation from sources distributed across the network. The transmission cables serve as the backbone of the grid and their replacement represents a critical step in moving Bermuda towards its sustainable energy future.
The upgrades will reinforce critical distribution infrastructure such as for schools and cell towers. They will also enable grid modernisation projects such as supporting Advanced Metering Infrastructure.
The new cables are being installed in multi-service duct banks that will eliminate the need to dig up the roads for cable replacement in the foreseeable future.
Working closely with Works & Engineering and other utilities, the construction phase has been designed to complement Government’s future water and sewage requirements.
The cable replacements are taking place in multiple locations across the island simultaneously so as to get the project completed as quickly as possible and with minimal disruption to the public.
BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “At BELCO we understand these upgrades are causing delays and frustration for motorists. However, these upgrades are critical to ensuring a more reliable and adaptable grid that will serve us for many years to come and enable the addition of large-scale renewables to be added to the grid. Thank you for your patience as we upgrade our underground transmission cables.”
Current work is as follows:
Morgan’s Point to Evans Bay Road via Middle Road started May 31st 2021. Due to be completed Mid October 2021
Belmont to Camp Hill began on March 2021 and is expected to continue until November 2021. These works are in Warwick only. Advised detour routes are South Shore Road and Harbour Road when available.
Store Hill, North Shore Road to Middle Road. Due to Start in June 2021. Completion date July 2021.
Middle Road, top of Store Hill to Flatts. Due to Start in August 2021. Completion date September 2021.
St. George’s Parish
From Mullet Bay Road to Ferry Reach Road. Works started in June 2021. Completion date July 2021.
Harrington Sound Road between Knapton Hill and Harrington Sound Hill. Began May 2021. Completion date October 2021.
Harrington Sound Road from Shark Hole Hill to Paynters Road. Began May 2021. Completion date September 2021. This section of road will be open for Cup Match week.