Achieving Sustainability with Solar at the National Museum of Bermuda

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As locations for large-scale solar deployment go, Bermuda is a pretty good one. The climate guarantees plenty of sun and the potential for significant generation of clean energy.

The National Museum of Bermuda has capitalized on the advantageous conditions with the recent launch of the largest ground-mounted solar project in the country. So far, so ordinary for a country with the climate of Bermuda. But the background to the project, and the long-term impact it’ll have on the community, is what truly sets it apart.

The installation is the product of a partnership to support the British America’s Cup Challenger, Land Rover BAR, that earlier in the year was training and competing around Bermuda as part of the 35th America’s Cup. The Land Rover BAR team have been quick to recognize their potential to contribute to local communities and to inspire others — and, when they were established mere years ago, set themselves the ambitious goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable sports teams.

It’s an aspiration they’ve lived up to with the support of their partners, including Low Carbon. The team has had solar panels installed at their UK headquarters in Portsmouth, and at local schools to support clean energy generation and local community engagement. And they brought the same commitment out to Bermuda with them.

Supported by Low Carbon and the Stempel Foundation, the Land Rover BAR team met their commitment to sustainability with the installation for the National Museum of Bermuda, covering more than 3,500 square feet and encompassing 194 panels. In practical terms, it will offset the team’s carbon emissions whilst training and competing in Bermuda, within two years.

The real value of the installation, however, will be seen for decades to come.

The panels have a lifespan of more than 30 years, and are designed to collect sunlight from both front and back. This will enable them to provide the National Museum of Bermuda with approximately 93,600 kWh of clean energy a year and save more than 43 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. That means, over the course of their lives, the panels could save nearly 1,300 metric tons of carbon and provide more than 2.8 million kWh of energy.

That in turns means the National Museum of Bermuda can reduce its electricity bills by up to 20 percent a year — providing vital financial resources it can reinvest in preserving Bermuda’s cultural heritage.

And this is before considering the role of the installation as an educational tool.

Since the installation first started, the panels have been used as a resource to educate local school children on how solar panels work and support the National Museum of Bermuda, and most importantly, the role of renewable energy in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

Consequently, the National Museum of Bermuda’s ground mounted installation isn’t just an example of industry best practice and how renewable energy installations can deliver tremendous local value; it’s an outstanding example of effective corporate and social responsibility, and a demonstration of the benefits of how clean energy, carbon emission reduction, and education that can all be delivered through renewable energy.

All as a consequence of the aspirations of a sports team.

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