Yesterday BELCO President and CEO Walter Higgins revealed plans to build the North Power Station would be “reviewed”.

Walter_HigginsBELCO boss Walter Higgins revealed plans to build the North Power Station would be “reviewed”.

He said: “BELCO still needs to replace aging equipment, so modification or development of the Central Plant will be necessary.

“We are going to review the North Power Station plans to determine how best to proceed and when to proceed, given the changes that have occurred with respect to the island’s economy and declining population, as well as improved renewable energy technologies and alternate fuel opportunities.”

BELCO’s decision to withdraw its Supreme Court challenge will mean electricity charges will remain the same.

But Mr Higgins said the company would look at alternative funding for new plant and fuel supplies.

He added: “We recognize the country’s desire for alternatives.

“We will examine those in light of the new economic landscape that has seen fuel oil prices rise, a reduction in some renewable energy pricing and possible opportunities to deploy some alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas or LNG.”

Mr Higgins described the recent Sol Invictus proposal to build a multi-million dollar solar-powered plant on a stretch of unused runway as “a very early and interesting thought”.

He added: “It is certainly one thing that needs to be looked at.

“But we have to check that this particular plan has all the support it needs.

“This is not something generated by the normal procedure of the Government issuing a Request for Proposal and others may have other thoughts on how this can be done.”

Mr Higgins said there was no “silver bullet” solution for alternative energy in Bermuda.

He added: “The most efficient one is geothermal and that is not here.The second most efficient is hydro and that is not here.

“What is available here is solar and we are very carefully evaluating three different ways this could be used. These include putting panels on the roof tops of dwellings, on the rooftops of hotels or warehouses and in large spaces on a solar utility scale.

“There is also the idea of something being done with the ocean currents and thermals.

“Yes, people are doing that all over the world and there are a couple of ideas and companies here.”

He added: “If solar can work anywhere in the world it ought to be able to work here. We have sun and we have high fuel prices.

“The problem is intermittency and what can be done at night or when it is cloudy. Storage systems are expensive.”

Last night Government released a statement saying it was “pleased” BELCO had withdrawn the legal action, adding: “We are pleased in particular to see that BELCO is seriously considering a more diversified mix of energy. In tough economic times, it is wise to look at all options.”

Original article

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