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Could a tidal barrage stretching across St Aubin's Bay be the answer to Jersey's future power needs?

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PLANS to build a tidal barrage across St Aubin’s Bay that could potentially generate all of the Island’s power and protect against rising sea levels are under consideration, the JEP can reveal.

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Government officials are also examining the possibility of extending and rezoning the reclamation site at La Collette to help facilitate the project and to provide the location for a new deep-water port for the Island, as well as new housing and industry.

Speaking exclusively to the JEP, Environment Minister John Young said that as the Island was likely to use less petrol and diesel in the future as it looked to cut its carbon emissions, the footprint of the fuel farm at La Collette could shrink, allowing the area to be used for other purposes.

The minister also recently spoke of his plans to push ahead with a carbon-neutrality programme in Jersey, which could involve large infrastructure projects, such as building offshore wind turbines to generate large amounts of renewable energy.

An official from Deputy Young’s department recently said that wind farms in 5% of Jersey’s offshore waters could generate three and a half times the Island’s annual electricity demand.

Dr Louise Magris, director of environmental policy, has confirmed that feasibility work has also been carried out for a tidal barrage across St Aubin’s Bay which it is believed could generate enough energy to power the entire Island, as well as provide protection against flooding.

Former Environment Minister Steve Luce said that the barrage would likely take a similar form to the nearby Rance hydro-electric plant in Brittany and generate a ‘phenomenal amount of energy’, that could potentially be exported to the continent.

Deputy Luce also said that the development of a deep-water port at La Collette could help lower the Island’s freight costs because it would allow larger ships to dock in the Island.

He warned, however, that any large-scale projects would be a ‘hard sell’ for Islanders, while Deputy Young said that such schemes would be a ‘cultural shock’.

Full story: Page 8.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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