Enough locally generated solar power to provide 34 average homes with electricity for a year will soon enter Jersey’s grid thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Woodside Farm Ltd and Jersey Electricity.
Charlie Gallichan, owner of Woodside Farm, has signed an agreement with JE to allow the utility to install the largest solar PV array in the Channel Islands on the roof of a new barn at his Trinity farm. Once operational, the 228kWp array is expected to generate 247,000 units of electricity a year.
The new rooftop array, made up of 702 x 325W monocrystalline panels, will be owned and operated by JE to feed directly into the grid. It will be more than three times the size of the 81kWp solar array JE installed on the roofs of La Collette Power Station last June and will become the largest in the Channel Islands. JE will once again partner local installer SunWorks to carry out the works using the award-winning Norwegian REC panels, which themselves have the lowest carbon footprint among leading manufacturers. The array is expected to be operational in early Spring.
Mr Gallichan, whose family have farmed Woodside for over 130 years, is no stranger to solar power having pioneered the Island’s first commercial PV array with a freestanding solar tracking system on the farm in 2012. He said: 'Green energy projects like this are essential to ensure the future sustainability of modern farming businesses not only by minimising our environmental impact but also by creating a new income stream which will help to keep farming financially viable into the future.’
JE CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘Jersey is on a journey to a carbon-neutral future and is in an enviable position compared with many countries because its electricity supply is already virtually completely decarbonised. One third of our electricity is already derived from renewable hydro-electric sources in France and locally generated renewables sit comfortably with this. Whilst the Woodside project will not reduce the carbon emissions of Jersey’s electricity, it is an exciting partnership that will increase the amount of local renewable electricity in our supply mix.’
JE Director of Commercial Services Peter Cadiou, who signed the new agreement with Mr Gallichan, said: ‘We have been in talks with Mr Gallichan for some time and we are delighted to have finally signed this agreement. We believe that by working closely with land and property owners and alongside local solar contractors SunWorks, we will be able to deliver the best outcomes for a low-carbon Jersey; provide a new revenue streams for our partners and help the Island diversify its low carbon electricity sources.’
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.’