February 7, 2024

Installer spotlight: BE Solar

Solar on roof of Bermuda college

Cultivating relationships for a cleaner Bermuda

In the heart of Bermuda, there's a company working to redefine how its island home produces and uses energy. BE Solar is not just an energy installer—it's a beacon of sustainability and resilience.

In a recent discussion with Stratton Hatfield, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, he delved into the past, present, and promising future of BE Solar, a leading installer of Enphase products that prioritizes the energy security and independence of its community.

Stratton Hatfield chief sales and marketing officer

A history of tradition

The story of BE Solar began almost 90 years ago in 1935, when Bermuda Engineering was founded by Gordon Hamilton Burland—the grandfather of Travis Burland, one of BE’s current partners and Chief Innovation Officer of BE Solar. Gordon designed solar hot water panels for Bermudans’ rooftops and built the island’s first microgrid, which was powered by wind.

Inspired by his grandfather’s vision, Travis breathed new life into BE Solar in 2010. The company was reborn as a residential and commercial solar installer, with a vision of an efficient Bermuda powered by clean energy. Enphase microinverters were a part of their first solar system using photovoltaics (PV), and since then, BE Solar has emphasized safety and reliability in all of its systems, with a mission of providing the highest quality energy solutions for all.

In BE Solar's vision, sustainability is holistic; it's about empowerment, knowledge, and resilience. The company encourages clients to adopt energy-efficient practices and reduce their energy consumption, in addition to helping them find the perfect solar solution—even if it comes from another provider. The goal is not to sell the biggest system, but to provide the best system for clients, all while helping to combat climate change.

On a remote island like Bermuda, residents are heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to power their lives. As a result, they pay incredibly high utility bills. To remedy this, BE Solar aims to help Bermudans gain energy empowerment, which means giving them both the knowledge and resources to improve their energy efficiency. The company has become a dominant force in Bermuda's solar landscape, having installed more than 700 solar PV systems.

This work is important, said Stratton, because “BE Solar prioritizes the communal and environmental aspects of our work as much as the economical, since the future for Bermuda depends on a healthy climate and community.” 

Strong relationships lead to commercial success

In addition to residential energy services, BE Solar has found a niche in the commercial space.

The key, Stratton said, “is really in the strength of our relationships.” Centered around educational spaces and non-profit organizations, BE Solar has successfully developed a number of commercial projects. The company intentionally avoids participation in formal requests for proposals, which can create a race to the bottom, threatening the quality of the work. Prioritizing quality and reliability in both equipment and services, Stratton explained that they simply aren’t interested in compromising.

Stratton also shared another exciting initiative on the horizon—the development of a carbon credit program, allowing local businesses to invest in solar systems on non-profit rooftops while earning carbon credits for annual reports and audits. Doing so could incentivize investment in Bermuda and provide local non-profits with clean, reliable energy.

The Enphase advantage

Since BE Solar installed its first solar PV system with Enphase microinverters, the safety and reliability of Enphase’s product has played a central role in BE’s growth. Stratton notes that their customers have responded positively, appreciating the quality and longevity that Enphase systems provide. 

In every aspect of business, the motivation for BE Solar isn't just about economics; it's about creating a more sustainable future. Stratton and his team understand the importance of reducing reliance on fossil fuels in a place like Bermuda, where the cost of importing energy can be a significant burden on residents and businesses alike.

“A huge part of pushing that transition forward,” Stratton said, “is using quality equipment to make the system as reliable as possible. That’s exactly why BE Solar uses Enphase microinverters.”

Enphase equipment

A bright future ahead

Looking ahead, BE Solar is exploring the potential for supporting microgrids, electric vehicles (EVs), and bidirectional EV charging. Stratton emphasized that the company's commitment to the environment remains at the core of its mission. BE is in the process of adding another 1 MW of renewable energy capacity, including projects on local schools, nonprofits and businesses.

“BE Solar is actively training and recruiting young Bermudians,” Stratton shared, “nurturing local talent in the renewable energy industry.”

BE Solar is more than a solar installer; it's a testament to what locally-focused service can do for a community. The company is on a mission to transform Bermuda's energy landscape, one Enphase-equipped solar panel at a time, while inspiring the next generation to take control of their energy future.

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