States Members visit La Collette Power Station
Nineteen States Members and senior officers experienced the ultimate ‘Power Breakfast’ today (25 March) when they were given a tour of La Collette Power Station to see first hand Jersey Electricity’s efforts to ‘keep the lights on’ this past winter while the Island has been down to one undersea French supply cable.
In particular, they saw the completion of the installation of the two 11MW Sulzer Diesel Generators, brought from Saudi Arabia in March 2012 in an £10m project which, along with the re-mobilising of other previously moth-balled plant, added an extra 52MW of on-Island generation capacity to supplement Jersey’s temporary limited imports.
They were also shown the procedures and complexities of restoring power in the event of a failure on the French grid or Jersey’s network.
Among the guests were Senators Paul Routier, Assistant Chief Minister, and Francis Le Gresley, Minister for Social Security, Deputies Kevin Lewis, Minister for Transport and Technical Services, John Le Fondré, Assistant Minister for Transport and Technical Services and Roy Le Hérissier, Assistant Minister for Education Sports and Culture.
Following a welcome from Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler, guests toured the Distribution Control Room, where they were able to see the route electricity takes from France into a Jersey home via JE’s complex network.
They toured the Main Control Room, talking to the men who monitor the power flow from France 24 hours a day, seven days a week and control La Collette’s generation assets, when in use. Then, complete with hard hats and ear protectors they stepped out on to the 80ft balcony over the vast generating hall to view the plant that includes four 11MW diesel generators, one 30MW gas-oil fired turbine and three steam turbines, totalling 105MW, and a new Heat Recovery Boiler.
CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘I am grateful that our busy States Members took time to come and see first hand what is involved in powering Jersey and the dedicated, highly skilled team that do so. There is certainly a lot more to it than flicking any switch!
‘In particular, the Diesels Project was an outstanding engineering feat. Although well in progress before EDF1 was decommissioned in June 2012, the project was immediately accelerated to get the new Sulzers in service before winter.
‘The visit also gave us the opportunity to update States Members on the excellent progress being made with our third undersea supply cable, Normandie 3, which will be laid between Armanville, Normandy, and Grouville Bay in the coming weeks.
‘This is a massive undertaking that will see the 115 metres-long and 32 metres-wide cable-laying barge the Cable Enterprise on Gorey beach at the end of May or beginning of June, all being well.’