Any future windfarm in Guernsey should be publicly owned, according to the deputy responsible for spearheading the recently released electricity strategy.
The President of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure, Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, spoke to Express yesterday, about the response to her committee’s Policy Letter and its preferred energy pathway.
To prepare for an increasingly ‘electric’ future, E&I has proposed that the island pursues a second interconnector to France, coupled with wind and solar power, while using Guernsey Electricity’s power station as back-up.
It argues that this combination ticks numerous boxes for future generation, including reliability, value for money and its place within the Energy Policy 2020-2050.
One of the recommendations within the strategy is that an offshore wind ‘component’ is pursued, which could provide Guernsey with more than half of its electricity. Without further investigation, it’s not yet clear how many turbines this could be or whether it would be part of a larger, multi-jurisdiction array.
However, “it's recommended, from a cost optimisation point of view - which means best value for money really - that the 65 megawatts is owned publicly,” said Deputy de Sausmarez.
“Whether that's directly through the states, or through Guernsey Electricity, or through some special purpose vehicle that's set up for it - it doesn't really matter.
“But if it is in public ownership, that is going to deliver the best value for money for Guernsey consumers.”
She said it doesn’t have to be publicly owned, because it could end up being owned by a third party and this may end up being the preferred route, potentially because it would cost less in immediate government expenditure.
“But it probably would mean higher costs for consumers, because obviously, you have to factor in the profit for that other organisation, that other party.”
Speaking on the reaction to her committee’s Policy Letter, Deputy de Sausmarez said the response has been largely positive so far.
“I'm feeling quite pleased actually, it seems to have landed and been received very positively, so far.
“Obviously, it's a very long and detailed document, and people will need time to go through it and absorb it and look at some of the detail and get their heads around it.
“But so far, the people that have managed to read it have been very positive about it.”
You can listen to the full interview with Deputy de Sausmarez below:
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