08/09/2015 - Commerce and Employment and Guernsey Electricity Limited continue feasibility work into local offshore wind energy project

Tuesday 8 September, 2015

Commerce and Employment’s (C&E) Renewable Energy Team (RET) and Guernsey Electricity Limited (GEL) have formalised and extended the feasibility work that they are jointly undertaking to research an offshore wind project for Guernsey electricity consumption in local waters.

This joint work will look more closely at a 30MW offshore wind project for Guernsey only consumption. If this wind farm were built it would be likely to generate enough electricity to supply around 1/3rd of Guernsey’s current electricity requirements.

The objective of the joint work is to investigate the potential of such a project and although a wind farm may be built in the longer term (2020s) it is not the overall aim of the project at this stage. The aim of the project is to assess the feasibility and inform any debate on wind farms. The joint work follows existing collaboration between RET and GEL but this is the first time both GEL and RET have formally worked on a project together.

RET have already undertaken work in this area including a large scale survey on local opinion into renewable energy research; analysis on the wind resource and potential sites as well as assessing the economics of such a project.

The results from the local survey confirmed interest in macro renewables with the population of the island strongly agreeing that Guernsey should make use of its natural resources to generate electricity locally (89% agree). It also showed support for a wind project and for projects for local use rather than export.

This new joint project will build on this earlier work and will look at a range of different work streams including: analysing imported electricity prices; understanding the best possible sites for a project; strategy for further resource analysis; further stakeholder engagement; potential project owners and more detailed understanding the project economics.

The joint work is likely to be completed in 2016 and will be shared publically as well as informing continued debate on the future of energy supplies in Guernsey.