Bristol solar expert helps expand local renewables
Islanders will soon be sharing even more renewable energy as we strive to introduce increasing amounts of solar PV on to the grid. We have appointed a dedicated Solar Project Officer to our Energy Solutions team to seek out suitable sites for solar PV installations with partners. James King, 39, has wealth of experience in the renewable energy sector having managed multiple solar PV installations for Bristol City Council, including the largest solar project involving schools in the UK.
He said: ‘I am pleased to have been appointed to this position. Jersey is at an exciting point, with strong political and public demand for renewable energy. During my time in Bristol, I delivered over 50 solar rooftop installations and a utility-scale solar park. I hope to help Jersey Electricity deliver similar successful projects.’
James’s appointment comes as we increase our efforts to bring locally-generated renewables to the Jersey market at an affordable price for customers in response to public demand and to help diversify the sources of supply.
The Island currently imports around 95% of its electricity through three multi-million-pound undersea supply cables to France. This has enabled Jersey to benefit from an already virtually de-carbonised electricity supply. Though many people still think this is all nuclear power, a third of imports - around 220 million units a year - are from renewable hydro sources in France, with Guarantees of Origin from La Rance Tidal Power Station in Brittany.
We partnered local installer SunWorks earlier this year to install the largest PV array in Jersey on the roofs of La Collette Power Station and we plan to install a second array on a specially built car port on the carpark we rent to B&Q. The 81kWp La Collette installation is four times the size of the array we installed at the Powerhouse in 2013. Consisting of 289 award-winning Norwegian REC solar panels, it is expected to generate over 90,000 kWh a year.
JE Director of Commercial Services Peter Cadiou said: ‘We are pleased to have secured the services of someone with James’s experience in this field as we seek to increase the amount of local solar power in our energy mix. Though solar power will in no way reduce the carbon content of the electricity we supply, which at 24g CO2e/kWh is one tenth of the emissions of the UK’s electricity system (255g CO2e / kWh*).
‘We have long been committed to helping Jersey reduce its carbon emissions and welcome the Government’s response to last year’s landmark report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the declaration of a climate emergency and aim of making Jersey carbon neutral by 2030. But with a third of the Island’s emissions emanating from heating residential, commercial and public sector buildings using LPG gas or oil, and another third coming from road transport, we believe the best way to support the Island’s carbon-neutrality ambition is to replace fossil fuels for heating and transport with low carbon electric solutions.’
* Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greenhouse Gas Reporting - Conversion Factors 2019