New battery energy storage system inaugurated in Bermuda

The Bermuda Electric Light Company (Belco) held the inauguration of a new battery energy storage system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

The company announced it expects the energy storage system to cut fuel and maintenance costs by $2 million a year.

The Battery Energy Storage System (Bess) is made up of lithium batteries which provide substantial reserve capacity. The system will improve the stability of the power supply by storing over 10MW, and with batteries kicking in within 50 milliseconds of a problem with the generated power supply.

The overriding objective, said Dennis Pimentel, President of Belco, is to “better serve our customers with safe, efficient and cost-effective electricity”.

Bess is part of Belco’s $200 million capital plan to achieve this objective, and is one of several ongoing projects.

“Utilising battery energy storage systems on a utility scale is still relatively new for power companies”, said Stephanie Simons, one of Belco’s mechanical engineers. “This system is one of the first of its kind in the Caribbean and innovations like the Bess make Bermuda’s entire electrical network more robust and reliable.”