Chief Minister praises JE foresight at Normandie 3 ‘Official Switch On’

Chief Minister Ian Gorst praised Jersey Electricity’s foresight in connecting Jersey to the French network via subsea power supply cables during today’s ‘official switch on’ ceremony of the Island’s third and newest interconnector, the 100MW Normandie 3. Senator Gorst, who headed representatives of the States of Jersey, including Senators Alan Maclean and Paul Routier, Deputy Steve Luce and Constables Stephen Pallet and Michel Le Troquer, said:  ‘Jersey is a small island but a sophisticated one that rightly places high demands on its service providers. Reliable infrastructure and secure power supplies are vital to our economy and Jersey Electricity plays a key role in this.

J-L, IAn Gorst and CA

Chief Minister Ian Gorst (centre) with RTE's Paris and Normandy Region Director General Jean-Louis Muscagorry (left) and Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler in the La Collette Control Room

‘The Company has shown great foresight over the years, meeting the ever-increasing demand for electricity, while helping to reduce Jersey’s carbon emissions despite a significant increase in our use of electricity. Though 62% owned by the States, as a plc with minority shareholders, JE’s Board can make investment decisions that focus on the long-term needs of their customers. This £70m Normandie 3 Project is a prime example. On behalf of the States of Jersey, I would like to congratulate all involved in this historic project.’

Senator Gorst handed over to the Paris and Normandy Region Director General of French network operators Réseau Transport d’Électricité (RTE) Jean-Louis Muscagorry to ‘press the button’ on Normandie 3 as Jersey Electricity Engineers turned off the diesel generators that have helped keep the Island supplied with electricity since 2012 when the first subsea power link, EDF1, installed in 1984, permanently failed and the Island became temporarily reliant on a single cable, Normandie 2.

Monsieur Muscagorry was joined by seven members of the RTE project team that played such an important role in the success of the ten-year project. While Normandie 3 connects two electricity networks, Monsieur Muscagorry spoke of the excellent consultation, physical accomplishment but above all he said a ‘network of intelligence was needed to complete such a project’.

Muscagorry switch on

Monsieur Muscagorry presses the all-important Normandie 3 switch watched by Jersey Electricity Energy Director David Padfield

'The ‘Switch on’ was a symbolic gesture as the 32km subsea cable and adjoining land circuits here and in France have been in active service for over three months. Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler echoed Monsieur’s Muscagorry’s sentiments, saying: ‘ This project would not have been possible without the teamwork and co-operation between France and the Channels Islands, including contractors, suppliers, partners, Jersey and French public authorities, as well as staff.

‘The success of the project, completed ahead of its 2015 schedule and below budget, owes much to the enormous efforts of French network operators RTE and the very special working relationship our respective engineers have had since 1984 when Jersey Electricity’s first link to France, EDF1, was installed.

‘Now, as then, is an historic moment for Jersey Electricity. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved especially RTE and our many contract partners who made this possible, including Prysmian Powerlink, Prysmian UK, Schneider Electric, ABB, GPC Cumbria and Jayen, plus the many States departments, in particular TTS and the Ports of Jersey, and the Jersey Fishermen’s Association.’

Designed from the outset with security paramount, Normandie 3 is installed along a more southerly route than Jersey Electricity’s two previous interconnectors, entering the sea near Pirou Plage, Armanville, and coming ashore at Longbeach, Gorey. Importantly, it connects to a different and more robust part of the French network at the Poste de Périers. As part of the Flamanville expansion and the Cotentin – Maine 400kV project, a new 400kV substation was built at Taut. This offered a perfect connection point for RTE’s upgraded substation at Périers just 4km away, which is Normandie 3’s connection point. From here Normandie 3 runs underground 19km along the side of the road to the coast, 32km subsea and then, in Jersey, a 7km land cable runs from Longbeach car park to South Hill Switching Station.