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Renewable deal will not involve waste energy

The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) is “very close” to executing its renewable energy deal to supplement the country’s troubled power grid, with the Chairman confirming that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will not involve waste energy.

“The deal we are looking to sign is entirely different,” Michael Moss told Guardian Business.

“However, we have gone out to find solutions in waste energy and it would be very beneficial in saving the landfill space.  It’s something we continue to pursue and it’s an appropriate solution.”  Although Moss was able to narrow down the field, BEC remains tight-lipped on whether the company will enlist the services of wind, tidal, solar, or another alternative energy source.

He said BEC is preparing to sign the MoU with a particular company, but cannot reveal the name until he makes sure “our Is are dotted and we’ve crossed the Ts”.

Moss added that they sought solutions involving waste energy in the past.  However, none of the tenders were considered acceptable.

Waste energy, whereby garbage can be brunt and converted into steam to power turbines, is a concept that has been much debated over the years.  Moss said BEC would not only need someone to burn the garbage, but also to properly sort what is combustible, and what isn’t.

According to one insider, who preferred to remain anonymous, commented that many proposals over the past few years had been welcomed and considered by both BEC and the government.  These proposals, he added, involved waste energy, as well as wind, solar and tidal.

The contenders had been cut down into “finalists”, the insider said, but then the issue seemed to “go away”.

Sam Duncombe, an environmentalist and entrepreneur, said waste energy seems to be the wave of the future for BEC. “We have a huge garbage problem,” she said.  “We have no recycling.  Assuming you could get the emissions issue sorted out, this would be a step in the right direction.”

That said, Duncombe added there are other solutions Bahamians can seek that don’t involve the actions of big companies or government.

As the owner of Solar Power Shower (www.solarpowershowerbahamas.com), she sells and distributes water tanks for the roof that generate heat through solar panels.

“The sun heats the panel, and you have boiling water – literately,” Duncombe said.

“That saves you 30% on your BEC bill right off the top.  Even at night, it will store the heat in the tank for up to 72 hours at 150 degrees.  So you could have clouds for three or four days and you’ll still have warm water.”

The panel, she said, is computerized, so the user is informed if the temperature of the water drops off.  At that point, electricity can kick in and top it off.

Duncombe said the 40-gallon tank costs $1,199, which is expensive for some families, she conceded.

But at current BEC pricing, the system would pay for itself just over a year, not to mention the fact it helps the environment.

“They talk about the long-hanging fruit – that’s long hanging fruit,” she added.



Category/ies:Barbados News.
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