Guernsey Electricity to replace undersea cable
Guernsey Electricity has decided to spend about £30m on a new subsea cable, linking the island with France via Jersey.
The current cable has had to be repaired a number of times since it was installed in the year 2000, and a recent examination found various design and manufacturing issues.
Since the island-wide power cut in October last year, Guernsey has been relying on the power station in the Vale for two thirds of its electricity.
The cable was due to be replaced in 2030 and we understand Guernsey Electricity is in talks with the supplier about its early failure.
Chief Executive of the utility, Alan Bates, says customers are likely to see an increase in price as a result:
‘At the moment we are talking to the regulator, not about passing through the costs of future investments, but actually recovering historic costs from the past couple of years.
‘We are about to enter a phase where we will talk to the regulator about how we charge customers for future investments.
‘Future investments include the replacement of this cable, but also most significantly, the direct connection to France which we are planning for 2023-2025.
‘The intention is to return to importing low carbon affordable electricity as soon as possible.’
We understand the decision was seen to be the most cost-effective, as each repair can cost up to £10m.
Tariffs have not increased since October 2012 and the utility says underlying costs have increased in this time.