New generator just days away from being started

FINAL tests are being carried out on Guernsey Electricity’s new £14m. generator, ready for it to be started in the next few days.

Guernsey Electricity project manager Tom Woodford with the new medium speed diesel, which should be started in the next few days. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1286145)

FINAL tests are being carried out on Guernsey Electricity’s new £14m. generator, ready for it to be started in the next few days.

The 360-tonne medium speed diesel was brought to Guernsey in September and since then cables and pipes have been connected to get the equipment ready to go on-line.

Project manager Tom Woodford, pictured,  said staff from manufacturer Wartsila had been working with Guernsey Electricity to get the generator up and running.

‘The major components are in place and it is hoped the engine will be started in the very near future,’ he said. ‘Once in service, the engine will undergo a number of further tests, with and without electricity load, to check all systems are in working order.’

GE operations director Bob Beebe said the machine should be started in the next few days.

Comments for: "New generator just days away from being started"


Could somebody please tell me what's happened to the French cable? Are we not now using any French electricity after having paid millions to have the cable laid and then repaired? And I read somewhere that we are also buying a second generator. So my house is still going to have to be painted every couple of years because of the grime thrown out by the generators. I also read earlier in the week that Jersey is getting a second cable from France and GE commented positively about that. I didn't understand why GE would be saying that whilst itself seemingly going back to the dark ages with two new diesel generators. Any views would be appreciated.

Charlie G

it is confirmed, that Jersey Electricity have just signed a £40 million deal, for a third cable with France.....and with that done,the jungle drums are now sending out messages, that JEL are paying for the GEL generators, to be run whilst the cable link is being repaired....can that be confirmed either way ?


John you say grime from the generators where do you live?


Good thinking and forward planning. At least if the plug is pulled in France we will survive. If I may suggest the new generators be set up at St Martins, just in case of a abnormal high tide taking out the three of them at south side.


I'm not surprised this generator cost so much, look at the picture and you'll see its made of solid gold.

Yes what has happen to our “Power saviour” the Cable??


The delay is due to the missing starting handle.


John i live down the road from the power station and we dont get no grime, pollution or noise. i think you need to be looking at another cause

States House

You "dont get no grime"?

Well your lucky or missing a trick!

The boat owners in St Sampsons marina and the garages on Braye road and summerfield road get the boats and cars cleaned by GE staff when they complain about the gunk that comes out of the chimneys landing on their property.

Island Wide Voting

States House

Correct. GE staff did a pretty good job in September / October? on my conservatory and my neighbour had the front and windward side of her bungalow power washed to get rid of the little brown oily blobs


So nobody has really explained exactly what's going on. Are we still getting most of our electricity from the French cable or not? Is this new generator just a back up in case the cable goes down again? If so why do we need a back up to the back up? And then we want wind power too!? Isn't all this getting completely out of hand? No wonder our electricity is so expensive and no doubt will become even more so very shortly when the capital costs of repairing the cable, two back up generators and various windmills in the middle of the sea are factored in.


There are two cables from France to Jersey. One is broken. The other one can't carry enough for both islands so Guernsey has to generate more than it wants to.

GEL has to keep enough generating capacity on the island to cover if the cable supply is not available at all. The new generator forms part of this vital backup facility, replacing equipment installed in the 70s.

When Jersey gets its new cable (2015) the amount Guernsey has to generate will go down and costs should go down. Prices going down may follow but don't hold your breath.

If Guernsey gets a second cable (2020) it might be possible to get all of the supply from France and with greater reliablity than from a single cable. It might even be possible to export power if on-island (or offshore) generation from renewables is sufficiently developed. On island generation from traditional sources will still be rquired as backup.


Keef - I am confused. The cable between Jersey and France was broken on the 29th April 2012. On the 8th October 2012 it was reported on thisisguernsey that the cable had finally been repaired and power was being restored to Guernsey. Now you say that one of the cables between Jersey and France has been broken and won't be repaired but will be replaced in 2015. Can you please clarify the full story.


Three cables.

Two breaks. Guernsey to Jersey fixed. Original cable Jersey to France (laid 1984) came to the end of its useful life in June 2012 and is the one being replaced by the new one. The now operational single cable from France to Guernsey via Jersey can supply up to 90 MW which has to be shared between the two islands. Guernsey's maximum demand in 2011 was 85MW.


How about applying now for a Euro grant for the new cable to France. After all if in the future we harness the power of the sea than we could become a major exporter of electricity to Europe. If we do get a grant from Europe we can experience the benefits now, then when electricity finally comes from the sea we can export it strait away. This has potential as a big earner for Guernsey.


Don't hold your breath regarding generating "inexpensive"electricity from the sea.

I don't know how much power can be generated at any one time by the French system at the St Malo Barrage, but I have heard that some of the time it is more cost effective to use the supply from other sources such as Nuclear.

The free power from the sea doesn't appear to be that FREE!