Krista Barnes, Communications & Sustainability Director at BELCO

The following statement was issued this morning, in recognition of Earth Day 2021, by Krista Barnes, Communications & Sustainability Director at the Bermuda Electric Light Company…

It has been BELCO’s honour to provide electricity to the homes and businesses on this island for over a century. During that time, much has changed; consumption of electricity has grown exponentially and our system has been continually improved and adapted to meet the needs of our customers through those years, always working to make the system safer, more economical and more reliable. We have also learned over the decades about the environmental impact of our power generation operations and as perspectives have changed we have worked steadily to remediate historical damage while seeking new, more sustainable methods of generating electricity.

Today, on Earth Day 2021, BELCO would like to publicly announce our commitment to sustainability. We believe we have built our last fossil-fuel-powered plant, which replaced inefficient and outdated engines with modern, efficient engines. Alternative power generation technology is improving, and we believe now, more than ever, there is an opportunity to transition to economical, large-scale, renewable power for Bermuda. Going forward, our focus is on introducing more renewable energy sources to Bermuda and upgrading our transmission and distribution infrastructure to accommodate the intermittent nature of most renewable technology. Our ultimate goal is to move Bermuda to a 100 percent renewable power system, and we are currently working on ways to make this happen.

We recognise that sustainability is not limited to the environment. Our focus on sustainability extends to social impact and governance.

To remain socially sustainable, we must equip the leaders of tomorrow to advance beyond the leaders of today. By providing scholarships, internships, and apprenticeships to young Bermudians, we are committed to empowering the next generation of engineers and energy professionals. We are proud to support multiple initiatives that fund education, community development, and family support, particularly for youth and seniors.

Within our organisation, we are continually taking steps to become more sustainable and efficient. Our vehicle fleet is on track to be 100 percent electric in the near future. As we retire old engines, we are undertaking campus projects that will relocate pipelines and the removal of unused equipment. We are recycling metals and remediating soil, implementing ways of catching more water while using less, and reducing waste across our campus.

Our journey to sustainability is ongoing and it will not be completed overnight, but we are excited to be moving in the right direction. Have a safe and happy Earth Day.