The MarketPlace today announced it will be offering a 10-cent discount for each reusable bag presented and used at checkout as part of an overall commitment to becoming a more eco-conscience organisation.

Beginning today customers will get 10 cents off their bill for every reusable bag they use when they visit any MarketPlace or Price Rite storeThere are no plans to charge for current brown paper bags. As part of the discount offer, The MarketPlace has rolled-out its own line of Bermuda-themed reusable grocery bags made with postconsumed recycled plastic. The reusable bags are available for purchase for $1.99 with new designs set to be released in early 2022.

Seth Stutzman, President of The MarketPlace group, said: “We are rewarding our customers for their efforts and hope that they feel like they’re winning with this offer—they’re helping the environment and saving money at the same time. Although we do not use single-use plastic bags at checkout to bag groceries,we wanted to take our efforts a step further by offering an incentive for our customers to adopt the reusable bag mindset.

Offering an incentive for customers to use reusable bags is another step towards strengthening The MarketPlace’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and its ambition to creating an eco-friendlier business which benefits the environment whilst adding value for customers. By applying the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) strategy, the retailer has identified four key areas of focus where it can make the most difference, including in-store recycling, in-store product packaging, shipping logistics and availability of more eco-friendly products that promote and encourage 3Rs habits. Over the last year, The MarketPlace installed LED light bulbs throughout all stores and began using compost container packaging made from plants at its salad and food bars.

Mr Stutzman added: “Our efforts during the pandemic have shown that at the heart of The MarketPlace’s core values is caring for the communities we serve, and this includes the environmentAs we continue to source sustainable solutions, we recognise that there are many more steps to takeWe will continue to evaluate all aspects of our operations as we seek to continually improve. Our commitment will offer assurance to customers that their purchasing decisions are having a positive environmental impact.”

Original TNN Link: The MarketPlace to Offer Discount for Use of Reusable Bags – TNN (

Electricity from Bermuda’s first large-scale solar farm has started to feed into the island’s electricity grid, power firm Belco revealed yesterday.

A Belco spokesman said that the six-megawatt solar farm – on a disused runway at the airport called the Finger – “achieved commercial operation on November 17”.

He added that the 19-acre site, developed by Canadian-based Saturn Power, was “delivering energy to Belco’s electricity grid under the terms of a power purchase agreement”.

The spokesman said: “A team from Belco has been working with the developers on the project for the past four years and building and upgrading the necessary infrastructure to enable the solar farm to deliver energy to the grid.

“This involved a major upgrade to the substation near the airport and cabling infrastructure and associated equipment to allow up to 6MW of electricity to be safely added to the grid.”

Wayne Caines, the president of Belco, said: “This is an exciting development and important milestone for the solar farm developers, for Belco and the people of Bermuda.’

Belco added it would not release the rates paid to the solar farm for its power.

The spokesman added that the combination of the Finger project and rooftop solar panels meant that about 12 megawatts of electricity were generated from sunshine “on good days”.

He said Belco’s daily load was about 70 megawatts at this time of year.

A Saturn Power spokesman later told The Royal Gazette that the company was unable to comment publicly “based on confidentiality agreements”.

Walter Roban, then the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, said in March 2018 that a solar farm at the airport could be operational by the end of the next financial year.

It was announced in June that year that Saturn Solar Bermuda 1, a subsidiary of Saturn Power, would develop the site.

Mr Roban said that the company was the lowest bidder of nine candidates – six of them Bermudian – at 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

He explained that replacement of imported fossil fuel with solar power would keep at least $20 million in the island’s economy over the farm’s lifetime.

Mr Roban added that the scheme would also allow “part of our electricity bills to remain stable for the next 20 years”.

It was announced that the Government would be paid $5,000 per acre in rent for the site.

Documents submitted as part of a Bulk Generation Licence application to the Regulatory Authority, published in August 2019, said: “Saturn Power’s mission is to ensure the safe, efficient and timely installation of the project and long-term operation of the project to exceed the expectations of the Government of Bermuda, the citizens of Bermuda and local agencies.”

The submission included an “expected commercial operation date” of September 2019.

Saturn Solar Bermuda 1 was granted a licence to produce power from April last year.

It emerged in October last year that a contract with Noesis Consulting Limited, a Bermudian company hired to manage the construction of the plant, was pulled.

Noesis launched a $1.3 million legal action against Saturn Solar Developments and alleged that the company suffered damages after it was fired.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Roban’s present ministry, said at the time that the plant would “hopefully” be producing electricity by the end of 2020.

Mr Roban said last August that there had been some infrastructure problems at the 24,000-panel solar farm that had to be resolved.

He added: “Over time those had been sorted out and we look forward to seeing that power contributing to the overall power infrastructure in Bermuda.”

Mr Roban said that the energy would be used to supplement peak load.

He added that there would be “a slight lowering of costs to every electricity user in Bermuda as a result of the solar facility at the Finger”.

Jeanne Nikolai, the Government’s director of energy, said at the time that the developers were “very close” to commissioning.

She added: “It could be as soon as the next few weeks, so that is exciting.”

A home affairs ministry spokesman said this month that the Government was "neither the owner nor the operator, merely the landlord“ at the site and added ”we are not directly involved in the project”.

He added that structural and electrical engineers had “stamped the working drawings and the building control inspections did not reveal anything untoward”.

He said: “Also, as with anything built in our harsh environment, there may be ongoing maintenance issues.

“However, we are not aware of any specific problems regarding the suitability of equipment installed being appropriate for a coastal environment.”

The government spokesman added: “Our only concern is that the project functions as intended and the owner lives up to the other terms of the agreement, which includes delivering power to the grid, the owner paying their rent, and clearing the site once their tenancy concludes.”

Original RG Link:


An environmental pressure group has appealed to the Government to “take a progressive stance and truly be a role model in the fight against climate change”.

The Bermuda Clean Air Coalition made the call just before next month’s UN Global Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, will represent Bermuda and the other Overseas Territories at the conference.

A spokesman for the BCAC claimed that Bermuda could “show leadership on the world stage” by moving from the use of heavy fuel oil to lighter diesel.

The group claimed that one pollution testing station near Belco’s main power plant on Serpentine Road in Pembroke had earlier this year recorded sulphur dioxide levels that exceeded UK air-quality targets.

The spokesman said: “Under specific atmospheric conditions, downdrafting appears to bring Belco fumes to ground level not only in Ocean Lane, but Rockville Lane and potentially other areas where there have been reports from residents of strong fume odours causing headaches and nausea, necessitating windows to be kept shut and children to stay indoors.

“In view of this, it is the BCAC's position that only a change in fuel type, away from highly polluting heavy fuel oil to lighter diesel, can at least partially address these problems.”

He added: “The BCAC calls on minister Roban and the Government to take a progressive stance and truly be a role model in the fight against climate change by ensuring that the island moves away from burning heavy fuel oil.”

The group admitted that the Government had taken “an important step” with legislation to bring the island’s emissions limits in line with global standards.

It also praised Belco for its use of new approaches to mitigate its impact, such as a more consistent roof painting policy, the installation of water filtration systems, and the reduction of soot fallout through adjustment of its engines.

But the spokesperson added: “The BCAC questions whether even the global standards are sufficient to prevent health impacts on Bermudians and whether there is a need to introduce stricter standards in Bermuda given the proximity of the power plant to densely populated residential zones and schools.”

The group said that consumers should not be “burdened” with additional fuel costs.

The spokesperson said: “Currently, Belco is permitted by existing regulations to transfer all of its fuel costs and any fuel taxes to the consumer.

“The BCAC calls for the Government to explore ways to achieve more equitable cost sharing – for example whereby the Government reduces its tax component – perhaps offset by the introduction of a carbon tax – and Belco absorbs some of the additional cost of a lighter fuel.”

Nadir Wade, Belco’s managing director of bulk generation, said: “We appreciate the ongoing dialogue with the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition and the community as we work to improve operations at our plant.

“As part of our efforts to achieve higher standards, we continue to assess the fuel used to power the generators in our plant.

“We are acutely aware of the rising cost of fuel and the impact higher prices will have on our customers.”

Mr Wade added: “Our goal at Belco is to become a renewable energy company and we hope to be afforded the opportunity to work with the Regulatory Authority to bring offshore wind turbines to Bermuda as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan.

“We look forward to ongoing community outreach and engaging with stakeholders as we work towards a clean and sustainable energy future in Bermuda.”


Original RG Link:

Greenrock is pleased to recognize another milestone with the first initial contact with the world renown environmental organization Greenpeace UK.

We look forward to the beginning of a successful and impactful collaboration!

The Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban celebrates Bermuda’s partnership with MIT in the release of Bermuda beeswax as part of an initiative with their space programme.

A Government spokesperson said, “MIT Media Lab and the Ministry have a relationship through the participation of Dr. Danielle Wood, who leads the Space Enabled group, whose mission statement is “Advancing justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space.

“Dr. Wood approached the Ministry late last year to see if she could get a quantity of Bermuda beeswax to use in her exciting work.

“It is beautifully suited to that purpose. It is stable [doesn’t combust easily], but it’s a hydrocarbon so it burns well, providing just enough energy to reposition a small satellite.

“Why Bermuda beeswax? Because ours is a low-pollution environment, comparatively speaking, and the group wants to see how differently sourced beeswax works in practical terms when burned, and our beeswax tends not to come from a single cultivar [like a field of clover or other crop], and the varieties of pollen the bees use could also have an impact on how the beeswax performs.

“According to Professor Danielle Wood of the Space Enabled team, she and Dr. Javier Stober of the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab are looking forward to receiving beeswax from Bermuda as part of a long term research project to study the potential of wax-based ingredients to create fuel for satellites orbiting around the Earth.

“The MIT team is thankful to the generosity of the team in Bermuda which is allowing the research to explore how beeswax from different regions and flowers may behave differently as a potential fuel.

“The satellite industry needs new options for low-cost, non-toxic fuels that are drawn from renewable ingredients. Beeswax from Bermuda may contribute to understanding next generation designs to help foster sustainability on Earth and in Space.”

“It didn’t hurt that Minister Roban is himself a beekeeper- so he was of course the most enthusiastic. Minister Roban celebrated the relationship between Bermuda and MIT, and applauds Professor Danielle Wood and her team for their hard work.”

Minster Roban stated, “We at the Ministry of Home Affairs are extremely proud of the work undertaken by Professor Wood and the entire programme at MIT. This initiative has put Bermuda’s beeswax on the map. We look forward to seeing the flight on May 20th, where Bermuda’s beeswax will be burned.

“I want to especially thank the Beekeeping Association who contributed the consignment of beeswax, Mr. Tommy Sinclair, Principal Agriculture Officer with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who was instrumental in getting the beeswax on its way to MIT, Mr. Lewell Woolridge Jr, and Mr. Albert Swan. The Ministry of Home Affairs is grateful for all of their contributions and hard work toward making this project a success.”

Original Bernews Link:

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