Jersey Electricity and Woodside Farm have sealed their partnership to generate local solar power. The Royal Court has granted a 25-year lease for JE to install and operate the largest solar photo-voltaic (PV) array in the Channel Islands on a warehouse roof at the Trinity farm.
With the lease agreement complete, work on the 1,311 square metre array is expected to start early in September. Once operational in October, the 255kWp array is expected to generate over 270,000 units a year - enough to power 37 Jersey homes using an average 7,300 units (kWhs) a year.
It will be the third solar array JE will own and operate to feed directly on to the grid to give all Islanders a share of locally generated renewable energy. It dwarfs the 81kWp array JE installed on the roof of its La Collette Power Station last summer and the 47kWp array, opened in April, at Jersey’s first Solar Hub carport at Queen’s Road.
JE will partner local solar contractors SunWorks to project manage, install and commission the array using the award-winning Norwegian REC Alpha Solar panels, which have the highest power output and lowest carbon footprint among leading manufacturers.
JE CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘We are delighted to cement this 25-year partnership with Woodside Farm for the local generation of solar power. Jersey is on a journey to a carbon-neutral future and local solar PV sits comfortably alongside our existing decarbonised imported power, a third of which is already from certified renewable hydro-electric sources. Working in partnership with more local companies, we believe solar power can have an increasing longer-term role in our energy system.’
Charlie Gallichan, owner of Woodside Farm said: 'I am delighted to partner Jersey Electricity in this venture. This long-term lease arrangement shows real commitment by JE to local renewables and support for local business. Renewable energy projects like this are some of the key elements that will help to ensure the future sustainability of modern farming businesses not only by minimising our environmental impact but also by reducing our cost of production, which will help to keep farming financially viable into the future.’
SunWorks MD Mark Brandon said: 'Agricultural rooftops are in abundance and are an ideal solar resource for Jersey. Locally generated electricity that provides sustainability and financially supports businesses is a positive step in the right direction. We are delighted to be involved in this milestone renewable energy project and hope it encourages others to come forward.’