Greenrock, a renewable energy advocate based in Bermuda, has released the third study in its offshore wind feasibility series – “Bermuda Offshore Wind: Location Assessment.”
Commissioned to determine “the most technically feasible locations for an offshore wind farm in Bermuda,” according to Greenrock, the study not only narrowed down a location for an offshore wind farm but also showed that electricity provided by offshore wind would be roughly one-third cheaper than the current price for electricity offered by fuel oil.
BVG Associates, a United Kingdom-based company with substantial experience in the offshore wind industry, including in the design of offshore wind turbines, conducted the location assessment and identified four potential areas that could be suitable for a 60 MW offshore wind farm.
Pinpointing technical constraints associated with turbine installation and operation was another aim of the study. It also considered a range of environmental and social constraints, based on collaboration with the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Program.
The study found a location north of the island to be the most logical for an offshore wind farm. Among the reasons: it had the lowest coral reef density and the shortest distance to connect to the grid of the four. Nevertheless, the study still recommended that the north site be examined in depth and a review of port infrastructure be done.
Forecast electricity costs from an offshore wind farm in Bermuda were largely unchanged from previous estimates, and are likely to range from $0.147–$0.165 kWh. The levelized cost of energy was $0.149 kWh for the locale to the north of the island. Although not the lowest figure, the ease of access to the site made the slight increase negligible.
“Based on our own analysis of BELCo’s (Bermuda Electric Light Co.) current costs, at the point of generation, offshore wind could provide electricity that is about 30% cheaper than generating electricity from fuel oil,” notes a Greenrock representative.
So far, a 60 MW wind farm that could meet the electricity demand for 30% of the island has been proposed by Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority, an independent body mandated to promote fair business practices and protect consumers. Costs could range between $250 million and $450 million dollars with a completion date expected at the end of 2029.
The fourth study in Greenrock’s series is an annual energy production analysis using commercially available wind resource data. It is currently in progress and will be published in the coming weeks says Greenrock.
Click here to download the “Bermuda Offshore Wind: Location Assessment.”
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