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Jersey Electricity apply to build 170 solar panels to diversify Island grid

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A TOTAL of 170 solar panels are due to be installed over the equivalent of 22 parking spaces at the B&Q Queen’s Road car park, subject to planning approval.

A car-port style solar panel array installed elsewhere. Picture: Penisole (24688150)

The project, which is being carried out by Jersey Electricity, follows another scheme to fit a large number of panels to the roof of La Collette power station. The power generated will be put into the Island’s grid.

However, the company says that neither of the solar-panel projects will reduce its carbon output. They say the current set-up allows for an almost completely ‘decarbonised’ supply.

Around 95% of the Island’s power is imported from France – with 34% being generated by the hydroelectric La Rance tidal barrage near Dinard and 66% coming from nuclear sources. The other 5% is generated locally by the energy-from-waste plant at La Collette.

Chris Ambler, chief executive of Jersey Electricity, said that solar technology was becoming more affordable.

‘This latest solar endeavour is the next of a series that we are looking at that will diversify energy sources to include local renewables.

‘Jersey already benefits from an almost completely decarbonised power supply, a third of which is already from renewable hydro-electric sources,’ he said.

‘Solar PV, however, is becoming more economical and sits comfortably alongside our existing imported decarbonised power.

‘We installed our own array on the Powerhouse six years ago from which we have learned a great deal, and last year announced plans to facilitate a larger scale pilot export-only, ground-mounted solar farm which is progressing.’

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And Mr Ambler added that the panels were being installed as a result of demand from Islanders for locally-based renewable energy sources.

‘We are seeing an increasing appetite for locally-generated renewable electricity,’ he said.

‘Solar PV sits comfortably with our existing imported decarbonised power and we wish to continue our support for the Energy Plan – Pathway 2050, which states a preference for moving towards renewable sources of energy where it can be justified on grounds of economics, security and sustainability.’

It is anticipated that both the La Collette and Queen’s Road project will generate 150,000kWh each year – enough to power 21 homes or power a Nissan Leaf electric car for 630,000 miles. There are no plans for electric charging stations under the proposed solar panels at the moment.

Norwegian-made REC solar panels will be used in the car park project. A total of 96% of the Scandinavian country’s electricity is derived from hydroelectric sources.

The car ports are being manufactured by Giulio Barbieri Outdoor Solutions in Ferrara, Italy.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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