Preparatory works for the installation of a new electricity cable between Guernsey and Jersey are being fast tracked by Guernsey Electricity, so it can be put in place as efficiently as possible.
The cable is set to be delivered to the islands in October, so those works are already being started.
Yesterday, it was announced planning permission was granted in Jersey for GEL to start works underneath the Greve de Lecq promenade, where the cable leaves the island and goes undersea.
The engineering, which is being carried out by Geomarine, takes place in June and July and when it is done, it will allow the cable to essentially be laid in place when it is received in October. That, the company said, is the best time for the cable to be put in and activated.
GEL are also in the early stages of planning a direct cable between Guernsey and France. Inset, Alan Bates, Guernsey Electricity's Chief Executive.
Sharon Watchorn, Project Manager at Guernsey Electricity, said they apologised to Jersey residents for the need to close the beach in the summer.
But the works are necessary since the previous electricity cable between the two islands was revealed to be completely broken earlier this year. Faults first became apparent in October of 2018, and while the company was initially confident they had been repaired, it was later discovered that the damage was more serious than they had thought.
Since then, the power station in St Peter Port has been running flat out to supply the entire island.
The Jersey beach will remain open during the works, and all local businesses and attractions can be accessed. Work will be between 09:00 and 17:00.
That has seen Guernsey Electricity's emissions and spending sky rocket, as they have had to make emergency changes to keep Guernsey's lights on.
"It is vital that Guernsey Electricity is able to reconnect to the cable to Jersey which is a shared Channel Islands’ Energy Grid asset. Significant investigations indicate the best opportunity is for the link with Jersey to be installed in October. By undertaking as much preparatory work as possible before the autumn, we will hopefully be in a position to reinstate Guernsey’s capacity for full importation of low carbon electricity by the end of 2019," Mrs Watchorn said.
When the new cable is in place, the island will be able to go back to relying on power that comes from France, via the other Channel Island.
Pictured top: Jersey's Greve de Lecq, and inset, Guernsey Power Station.
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