Check out our article in Going Green Magazine: Bermuda Media — Going Green
At BELCO, we are committed to creating a safe, secure and sustainable energy future for Bermuda.
As we monitor and assess improvements in alternative power-generating technologies, we remain firmly committed to our B100 initiative and are focused on transitioning to a renewable power system.
We are also committed to achieving carbon net zero for all of our operations by 2050. Carbon net zero means that by 2050 we will add no more carbon to the environment than the amount removed. This commitment also includes taking actions to offset the carbon footprint of all of our employees.
While we analyse the options for economical, large-scale, renewable power, we are laying the foundation to support Bermuda’s transition.
As part of the transition, the modern and efficient North Power Station was commissioned in 2020. This will be the last fossil-fuelled plant BELCO will ever build. Over the past year, we have made operational adjustments in mitigation efforts to ensure the plant is operating at optimal efficiency and with minimal impact to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Work is also ongoing to dismantle old, retired engines including five exhaust stacks, removing unused equipment and recycling metals. As part of our sustainability and environmental commitment, we are also remediating soil, and improving internal sustainable practices and efficiencies.
Part of our efforts to further reduce our carbon footprint, we are transitioning to an entirely electric commercial vehicle fleet. BELCO operates an intermediate/light vehicle fleet of 30 vehicles, of which 25 or 83% are EVs. The five non-EVs will be retired from the fleet once they have reached the end of their useful lives and replaced with EVs.
BELCO also operates a heavy vehicle fleet which includes specialty vehicles like bucket trucks, recovery trucks, pole digger trucks and winch/crane trucks. While the intention is to transition this fleet to EVs, currently there is no viable option to meet the company demands for these vehicles. Given the rapidly developing technology in these vehicles, BELCO plans to start the transition to an electric heavy fleet in 2024.
Work also continues on upgrading our transmission and distribution infrastructure that will ensure a safer, more reliable grid that will also be capable of accommodating the intermittent nature of most renewable technology as they come online. One of the first phases of the grid modernisation project was in the east end to accommodate the 6 megawatts of power from the Airport Finger Solar Installation which is now feeding into the grid.
Some of the ways we are reducing our carbon footprint and transitioning to a more environmentally sustainable Company include ensuring our canteen is plastic free by the end of 2022 and encouraging our customers to sign up for e-billing which reduces our paper usage.
We have also encouraged and empowered our staff to volunteer their time to support 61 registered charities and 12 community initiatives focussed on sustainability. This has included projects such as participating in Keep Bermuda Beautiful clean-ups, spending the day at Wind Reach to help to beautify the animal zone including sanding, painting and other tasks, assisting the Bermuda Audubon Society and Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo as part of our community day initiatives.
Our journey to sustainability is ongoing and it will not be completed overnight. We are making steady progress towards our goals and will continue to keep the community informed as milestones are achieved and we move forward in building a cleaner, greener Bermuda.