Since our start, the BMR Energy team has strived to not only build reliable, clean energy projects, but also make a lasting impact by creating positive change at the community level. In the past year alone, we’ve made some of our favorite memories, including co-hosting a baseball clinic led by MLB player Justin Masterson and meeting our new neighbors near our Cayman Islands and Guatemala projects.
As we kick off 2020, we’re reflecting on the relationships we’ve deepend over the last year.
Engagement through education
BMR Energy arrived in the Cayman Islands in December 2018 with the acquisition and restoration of the Bodden Town Solar Farm. In fall 2019, our Senior Vice President Pip Decker met Catherine Childs, Education Manager at the National Trust, and brainstormed ways to encourage local students to engage with their neighboring solar farm, while learning about the technology. We were delighted to know local residents were curious about solar power and the impact it can have on the island.
In December, we opened our doors to field trips from five local primary schools so that students could tour our facility and see solar in action. Over the course of two days, nearly 300 kids visited the solar farm and had the opportunity to see solar photovoltaic panels up close to learn about how the panels collect sunlight and generate power. The students also had the chance to safely explore other parts of the solar facility, like the inverters, which play a critical role in converting the sun’s energy into the electricity that can be used in our homes.
“The National Trust is very grateful that BMR Energy made the time to show local school children Cayman’s first solar farm,” said Catherine Childs. “The students are the future of Cayman and it is heartening to know that they are better-informed about renewable energy options for our country, thanks to BMR’s generosity.”
“Breaking in” new equipment
Across the ocean, our team was searching for opportunities to engage with the community neighboring our Guatemala Green Solar Facility. Recently, our Director of Business Development, Michael Orantes, has been making several trips to the area to explore opportunities for more clean energy projects in Guatemala, and help the country meet its goal to procure 80% of renewable energy by 2030. Thanks to our operations manager based in Guatemala, we were able to coordinate a community initiative project during Michael’s visit.
San Nicolas, an elementary school, and the National Basic Education Institute with Agricultural Focus, a high school, expressed their needs for equipment donations to enhance their school’s learning environment. We were moved by San Nicolas’ nourishment program that provides free breakfast to up to 70 children every day, but learned that staff did not have all the tools necessary to meet the initiative’s needs. Food was stored in children’s homes and breakfasts were cooked with wood or coal. In response, BMR provided the schools with electrical and lighting equipment, a new cooking stove and a refrigerator for the school staff.
Additionally, BMR replaced the high school’s existing playground equipment with two brand new soccer nets, to encourage students to practice their shots and support their active sports program.
During Michael’s visit, BMR celebrated the new equipment with games, a piñata contest and lunch! The fiesta was quite the “hit”!”
At the end of Michael’s visit, the school staff showed their appreciation for the donations by awarding him with a high school diploma from the National Basic Education Institute, deeming him an Honorary Graduate.
“It meant the world to me to receive an Honorary Graduate degree from National Basic Education Institute,” said Michael Orantes. “It demonstrates that our work in these communities means much more than simply building clean energy projects. BMR is very thankful to have made this lasting connection and we look forward to continuing the tradition!”
Looking Ahead to 2020
With every clean energy project comes the opportunity to connect with a new community. We’re looking forward to more community initiatives in 2020 and meeting more neighbors along the way.
If you have a recommendation on a community service initiative near one of our projects, we encourage you to reach out to our team!