Wind Farm More Likely Off Guernsey?

19th May 2017

Offshore wind technology could work in several locations off Guernsey.

A preliminary feasibility study has found it could be viable and the States of Guernsey’s Renewable Energy Team is backing the plan too.

Engineering consultancy firm, the Xodus Group, carried out the study, funded by the States and Guernsey Electricity, looking at whether an offshore wind project would work off Guernsey’s coast.

The report says a ‘modest project’ could work but it would lead to higher electricity prices than we currently pay.

To offset that it’s suggested the States would have to fund the majority of the project.

The report’s main findings are:

  • Developing a modest project, of the order 30MW, will achieve the fundamental objective of an independent supply of electricity together with the benefits associated with energy diversification namely: security; price certainty; sustainability and lower carbon.
  • The cost is higher than current French importation and on-island generation.
  • To mitigate the higher cost it is recommend that the majority of the project is funded by the States of Guernsey to secure the lowest cost of finance.
  • At this early stage of analysis the preferred site is far offshore towards the 12nm boundary. This location is in relatively deep water and most suited to the new floating wind turbine structures.
  • The lowest cost site is likely to be in the shallow waters off the north coast (or any coastal site). However, this near shore location may have visual and other human impact.
  • Consideration should be given to pursuing an extended wave and wind data gathering programme that could be relatively low cost but high value for the future.

The States of Guernsey’s Renewable Energy Team have been progressing the recommendations outlined in the report. They are also looking at the addition of remote sensing equipment at Chouet headland alongside the existing wind monitor. The Renewable Energy team will continue this work , before discussing the viability of such a project with the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure.

The full report can be read here.

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