Alderney Electricity wants a solar farm

THE south-facing slope above Alderney’s Fort Grosnez could generate up to a quarter of the island’s energy needs within two years.

Alderney aerialsupplied

Alderney Electricity wants to create a small solar farm in the Glacee opposite the power station – the first such installation in the Bailiwick.

They have requested that the 50m by 50m site be considered under the terms of the new Land Use Plan and it has been recommended for approval, with some mitigation.

The photo voltaic panels could generate up to 200 KW of power, running at peak on a sunny day – up to 25% of the island’s power requirements.

Over the whole year – bearing in mind that few days are sunny all day – it is anticipated that the farm will run at 1,000 hours of peak production, generating six million KW per year – 3% of the island’s total energy requirement.

The site would allow direct access to the power station via a cable, and the energy would then feed into the island grid.

Comments for: "Alderney Electricity wants a solar farm"

Bill Detats

What happened to the generation of electric from the sea?

Devil's Advocate

The company with the license stopped paying their fees to the States and have lost it.

Devil's Advocate

GP - it's glacis, not glacee.


GREAT IDEA! Why can't Guernsey use its derelict vineries for the same purpose?

Devil's Advocate

It can, the new Island Development Plan was written to allow that. However, a solar farm isn't as profitable as housing so it's not being done. The vinery owners would rather sit on their derelict vineries and hope they get planning permission to build on them than do something for the good of the island.

Island Wide Voting

I suppose the litmus test might be centred on the Pulias Pond vinery. The owner was willing to do something for the island by offering it as a Fred in the Shed storage yard

Will he apply for an equally useful solar panel farm?


Great idea to test this out. As usual there will be naysayers I'm sure, but we won't know if it's feasible until we try so I'm all for it.


The sea provides constant power, the sun does not. What are the relative costs and benefits? Why do they keep making these announcements which are not fully thought through?

Devil's Advocate

PV Solar is a tried and tested technology which has developed economies of scale. Tidal / wave power is still experimental and expensive. As far as I know there are no 'off the shelf' devices available, and no-one knows how long the experimental devices will work for.

Devil's Advocate

AE can look at the sunshine records for the past 20 years and know how much sun they'll get a year. They can look at panels who guarantee 80% functionality after 10/15 years. They can look at the glacis and get a quote for the install.

With tidal there's loads of unknowns - seabed surveys are needed to check cable runs, no-one knows how long a turbine will last, no-one knows how quickly they'll get fouled with weed growing on them. Putting in submarine cables is expensive, fixing turbines to a very tidal seabed is expensive. You'd need a big tidal farm to cover the cost of laying the submarine cable(s) to it, and AE don't have the huge amount of money needed to install a big tidal farm. A tidal farm big enough to cover the cost of the cabling will produce more power than Alderney can use, so it needs a means of export to France, which means another cable system...... It's simply too risky to do, they could spend millions they don't have on turbines to find they all fail before they've entered profitability.