Guernsey Press

‘I have ambitions beyond E&I’s strategy’ – Meerveld

THE deputy leading a political group investigating commercial wind farms has described the publication of Environment & Infrastructure’s electricity strategy as a major step forward.

Picture by Luke Le Prevost. 06-06-23..Generic picture of Guernsey Electricity and the power station on the Bridge.. (32185903)

Deputy Carl Meerveld said the work being done by E&I was required in preparation for exploring commercial opportunities.

‘The wind farm project I am championing is not combative with the strategy. Deputy [Lindsay] de Sausmarez is looking more at Guernsey, our group has been looking at more of an entrepreneurial angle. The two can dovetail together.’

The strategy unveiled yesterday put forward six options for Guernsey’s energy future. E&I is supporting an option including a 65MW offshore wind farm, ambitious solar expansion and a new cable link to France.

Deputy Meerveld said although he supported option D in principle, he had a preference for

option F, the so-called lighthouse option.

‘I think we can be even more aggressive. I have ambitions beyond the strategy. I would like to see Guernsey as a test bed for green technology such as hydrogen fuel and distributed grids. We are uniquely based as a small country in size and population to be a showcase.’

He said that the offshore wind group which he leads had been asked by Policy & Resources to look at the commercial opportunities that could see a wind farm built in the island’s territorial waters that would be able to produce 20 times more electricity than the island could consume.

He said that a wind farm of this size would need its own direct cable to supply the power produced to France, and it would have to be completely separate to a 100MW cable proposed in the electricity strategy.

‘You would need a 1.5GW cable, a magnitude bigger than the cable considered in the strategy. The 100MW cable will mostly be for import as you can only send electricity one way at a time. If we had excess power from the wind farm proposed in the strategy that could be reversed but only up to 100MW. If we had a large-scale wind farm it might be that 100% goes to France and then is reimported, as this might be technically simpler and more cost-effective.

Deputy Meerveld agreed that a wind farm was a decade from development but could begin making income for the States within three years, through leasing areas of its seabed.