Guernsey Electricity tries to allay French fears over cable
GUERNSEY ELECTRICITY has been speaking with residents in France about a proposed new undersea cable after protesters argued against the installation.
The direct cable link between Guernsey and France had campaigners suggesting that the island should use the existing network through Jersey or go directly to Flamanville. This lead GE to approach those in France with the aim of soothing any worries they have.
‘Guernsey Electricity has been in dialogue with residents and officials in France to discuss with them the possibility of installing an undersea power cable linking Guernsey to France,’ said Guernsey Electricity’s chief operating officer Sally-Ann David.
‘The consultation process has allowed Guernsey Electricity to better understand any concerns the residents may have by sharing information about the project while listening to feedback.’
The proposed cable would link Guernsey directly to the substation of Tolmer, which is located in Quettetot in the town of Bricquebec-en-Cotentin.
People in France had written on social media about destruction of the habitats and coastline of their country.
‘The cable will move on its own under the ground or it will need machines to dig and make the concrete framework that will protect the cable,’ posted Julien Dieudonne on Facebook.
‘No destruction of underwater species, do you have any scientific reports that prove it?’
Another asked: ‘How much do you think of the preservation of the fauna and flora of our Cotentin?’
At a recent meeting residents also informed GE of their fears over the pollution generated, along with the high cost of the project, amounting to one million euros per month.
French group Collectif Protection Cote Ouest has launched a petition against the cable, stating that with Sciotot ranked among the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe, the 70km-long cable would pollute both the sea and the beach.
They have also said that it should be up to the Channel Islands to supply their own energy, which they state could be gained from wind turbines and solar panels on green spaces such as the golf courses and beaches. The petition has so far attracted 751 signatures.
Ms David has said that GE will continue its consultation process with those in France throughout the project to ensure that residents are kept up to date.
‘Guernsey Electricity is moving to the next stage of the project, which will involve the undertaking of an offshore survey to determine the proposed cable’s route.’