States Members tour St Helier's new £17m substation
States Members, including 13 Deputies, donned hard hats and high viz jackets early this morning for a tour of St Helier’s new £17m primary substation at Westmount. The facility, which has been almost 10 years in the planning and building, was described as one of the most important infrastructure assets in the Island by Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler.
St Helier West Primary Substation is still under construction and is currently being connected to the existing network. It is expected to be in service by the end of the year with final landscaping to be completed in 2019. JE’s Project and Asset Manager Mark Vivian, who along with Engineering Manager Phil Buckley, guided the politicians and officers around the station, said it had been one of the most challenging infrastructure builds JE had ever undertaken.
The 10,000 sq ft steeply sloping site was a former coastal quarry requiring extensive ground investigations throughout 2015 before Civils Works could begin. These involved the removal of 27,000 tons of material, including 5,000 tons of rock, piling to support the building slab and the erection of a new retaining wall to protect the facility. Local firm Jayen completed this work in September 2017 and handed the site to specialist French contractors Engie INEO to undertake the actual build that took a year. In recent months, the substation has been equipped with transformers from Italy, control systems from the UK and cabling from Belgium.
Once in service, St Helier West Primary Substation will provide relief to 80% of St Helier where the network has been under pressure. It will also future proof the network to meet the increasing demand for electricity that saw a new record peak of 178MW set in March. Granite walling and landscaping that will incorporate a public viewing platform will be completed next year.