Jersey Electricity signs major deal with Guernsey on power cable links

Jersey Electricity and Guernsey Electricity today signed an important agreement to share the cost and capacity of the £70million Normandie 3 project to install a third 100MW interconnector from Jersey to France which is due to be installed
in 2015.

The agreement was signed in Jersey this morning by Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler (pictured right) and Guernsey Electricity MD Alan Bates and will also enable Guernsey to share the capacity of a potential new 100MW Normandie 1 cable, which would replace the original Normandie 1 link following its permanent failure last June. In addition, the two Channel Islands utility companies will work closely to lay a second Jersey-Guernsey cable to enable increased power transfer between the islands.

GEL N3 contract signingSince the loss of Normandie 1, Jersey Electricity's first 55MW undersea cable on 17 June 2012, both Jersey Electricity and Guernsey Electricity have been supplementing imports from France through the sole remaining Normandie 2 cable with more expensive oil powered local generation. Restoring more cost effective importation capacity, therefore, became a high priority for both islands.

Jersey Electricity began the complex planning process for Normandie 3 eight years ago. French authorities eventually granted final planning consents last December and JE signed £40million contracts with Prysmian for its manufacture and installation in February. It is today that the Jersey and Guernsey electricity companies agreed this next important phase of their 13-year partnership in the Channel Islands Electricity Grid (CIEG).

Formed to provide the governance and investment structure for Normandie 2 in 2000 and the existing Jersey-Guernsey cable link, which was installed at the same time as Normandie 2, CIEG is also the vehicle through which the companies procure power from EDF in France. Leaders of both companies were present at the signing of a €1billion 10-year supply contract with EDF in Paris in 2011 and both companies worked closely together on the successful, complex repair of the Jersey-Guernsey link last summer following a major fault in April 2012.

Chris Ambler said: 'This agreement is an immensely important milestone in a successful long-standing partnership with Guernsey Electricity.

'To date, the partnership has delivered significant value for both islands and promises to pave the way for co-investment in new cables and future joint initiatives that will provide secure and affordable electricity supplies into both islands for the next 20 years or so. It is fitting that we are able to forge ahead with the next stage of this relationship at a time when there is considerable interest in closer cross-Channel Island working.

'Our immediate priority is to deliver Normandie 3, on time and on budget, relieving the pressure on power supplies from 2015. The next priority, which we are already working on, will be to explore the Normandie 1 replacement and a new Jersey-Guernsey link, all of which will be of immeasurable benefit to both our island communities.'

MD of Guernsey Electricity, Alan Bates said: 'The investment in greater import capacity and security of supply are fundamental to both islands' strategic plans. Working closely with our colleagues in Jersey Electricity, through the CIEG, ensures we can deliver significant benefits to both islands.
 
'The new cables to Jersey and the second connection to Guernsey will deliver a sustainable and affordable electricity supply which caters for both our aspirations to decarbonise electricity generation and will create transmission infrastructure that can support locally generated renewable energy.
 
'We are looking forward to working with Jersey Electricity in delivering these investments for our islands.'