GREEN TEAM: From left, Travis Burland, BEC chief engineer, US Consul General Robert Settje, and Stuart Kriendler, BEC manager and solar specialist.

Credit: 
Photo supplied
GREEN TEAM: From left, Travis Burland, BEC chief engineer, US Consul General Robert Settje, and Stuart Kriendler, BEC manager and solar specialist. Credit: Photo supplied

The US Consulate is lighting the way in reducing our carbon footprint.

The consulate has installed a 3.12kW (kilowatt) solar photovoltaic system that will reduce its footprint by more than 57 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years.

The system was fitted by Bermuda Engineering Company (BEC) and will generate electricity at 22 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour), compared with the current rate of 42 cents. Any excess energy will be sold back to BELCO and redistributed.

The PV panels are expected to save the consulate more than $1,400 over the next year, and up to $32,000 over the next 25 years, at the current commercial kWh rate. 

Consul General Bob Settje said: “We are excited about switching to solar energy, reducing our reliance on imported oil, lessening greenhouse gas emissions, and of course, saving on our electricity bill.

“We congratulate Bermuda Engineering for its excellent work at the consulate and for the role it plays in promoting the use of sustainable resources like solar energy.”

Eleesha Lewis, management officer for the US Consulate General, told the Bermuda Sun: “Our decision to go solar is part of a larger State Department and US Government initiative to go green and to reduce our footprint overseas and in the US.”

Responsibility

She said the Greening Diplomacy Initiative was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009, to improve the sustainability of the Department’s global operations, including embassies and consulates.

“We are encouraged by our government to do what we can to promote sustainability and renewable energy,” said Ms Lewis.

“Here in Bermuda the solar project was the brainchild of the previous Consul General Grace Shelton and I was tasked with making it happen.”

Bermuda Engineering Company installed the panels at the start of July.

“We don’t yet have any data on our BELCO bill but it looks great,” said Ms Lewis.

“None of us really knew what to expect, but the panel arrays look very sleek and unobtrusive; we like the way they look.

“The protection of our planet is a shared responsibility, and it is up to all of us to pursue sustainable policies and practices every day.

“The US remains committed to doing our part to reduce our energy emissions at home and overseas, and this is just a part of our mission to do that.”

Travis Burland , chief engineer at BEC, said: “Bermuda Engineering was honoured to be selected by the US Consulate General to design, install and commission this BenQ Solar electricity generation system, supplied by SunWize Technologies.

“We participated in a rigorous tendering process, which has ensured that the consulate received an excellent product and a high quality of service, at a very competitive price.”

Mr Burland said the system would reduce the consulate’s carbon footprint by more than 57 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years, the equivalent of importing 110 barrels of oil.

“This is a positive step towards energy independence,” he said. n

 

For more information on BEC call 279-5907 or see www.bermudaengineering.com.