Another initiative aimed at energy efficiency this past year is the LED exchange initiative, launched in May, 2019. The Department worked with the retailers themselves to ensure a smooth and workable solution, in which customers exchanged an old incandescent bulb for a new, efficient, 60-Watt equivalent LED.
In all, the Department paid for a total of ten thousand, seven hundred and ninety four (10,794) LED bulbs for a total of sixty three thousand, two hundred and fifty four dollars ($63,254)…We allowed customers to exchange up to ten bulbs at a time. If the lifespan of the LEDs are about twenty years, and assuming they are used six hours per day every day, then the savings from this one initiative over the lifespan of those bulbs is more than four million dollars.
That capital will circulate in the local economy rather than being sent offshore to buy foreign fuel. Each bulb will save over three dollars each month with the use described, and for every month thereafter in its lifespan, at present rates.
Apart from the monetary savings, over twelve thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide will have been prevented from being released into the atmosphere. This is good news for our wallets and our environment,and shows how small measures, together, add up to result in sizeable outcomes.
In August 2019, the Department hosted two weeks of Space Camps for Bermuda Public School students, for a total cost of nineteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty three dollars ($19,733)….There were a total of thirty-five (35) students from various Middle Schools enrolled, with students from each Middle School.
Through connections made through the Space and Satellite Advisory Panel, a team from the NASA Wallops Space Center conducted the first week, and the second week was led by a team from the Challenger Learning Centre of Alaska…Students learned about Bermuda’s unique importance to space missions both in the past and in future, that without the earth stations in St. David’s, the International Space Station would not be possible.
The response from the students…was overwhelmingly positive, and the Department looks forward to hosting Space Camp once again.
The Department has also continued to build on the relationships established in the past, particularly as it continues its work with the Rocky Mountain Institute, or RMI. RMI, an independent nonprofit organization renowned for its work as a leading think tank for renewable energy and climate change solutions, has been working with the Department of Energy and the Department of Public Transportation over the past year to help develop solutions to address our energy issues.
Over the course of the year to establish a process by which it might evaluate prospective sites for solar development. Among the criteria was the need to utilize brown-field sites and rooftops, leaving our green and open spaces to their primary purpose, of providing important natural buffers between developed areas, allowing habitat and scenic vistas to be preserved. Prospective sites were those Government controlled sites that offered sufficient space for efficient and effective deployment of solar PV, and about two hundred and nineteen (219) sites were identified as being optimal for development, with additional sites in less-optimal but still having some development potential.
Those optimal sites include rooftops, land parcels, car parks, and water catchments throughout the island. There are a total of over two hundred and forty four thousand (244,000) square meters of rooftop spaces and eight hundred and fifty seven thousand (857,000) square meters of land parcels that may be considered for solar development, and the exact numbers will vary as the developments are engineered and procured. The next steps will be to move toward developing those sites and de-risking them, in order to ensure a fair and just procurement process, in which Bermudians will participate.