Two of the largest solar arrays in Channels Islands join the grid
The two largest solar PV arrays in the Channel Islands are now ‘live’, providing Jersey annually with 750,000 units of on-Island-generated renewable electricity for at least the next 25 years.
The 2,500 square-metre array on the roof of Jersey Dairy and a 1,311 square-metre array on a warehouse roof at Woodside Farm, Trinity, have been connected to the grid following final commissioning and testing.
The Dairy array is 553kWp and Woodside 255kWp. Combined with earlier arrays Jersey Electricity has installed at the Power Station and Queen’s Road Solar Hub, local solar installations will produce just under one million units a year - enough electricity to power around 135 homes a year using an average 7,300 kWhs (units).
JE Commercial Services Director Peter Cadiou said: ‘We understand there is a desire for Jersey to be more energy independent by increasing on-Island renewable electricity generation. Getting commercial-scale local solar power on to Jersey’s grid for everyone's benefit is therefore a milestone for the Island.
‘It is still more expensive to produce than buying low carbon renewable hydropower and nuclear power from France. Our objective is to integrate local renewables affordable and ensure network stability and supply reliability despite their intermittency.
‘This has been made possible by the innovative, long-term lease agreements we have come to in partnership with Jersey Dairy and Woodside Farm, and we are looking for more partners to help us increase the volumes of locally-generated solar power on the grid.
‘Working in collaboration with local companies, we believe solar power can have an increased long-term role in our energy system. It sits comfortably alongside our imported renewable hydropower which already accounts for a third of the electricity used in Jersey.’
Jersey Dairy MD Eamon Fenlon said: ‘Jersey Dairy and our dairy farmers are committed to good environmental practices. This project fits with that commitment and the many other positive environmental initiatives that the dairy industry is actively implementing.’
Woodside Farm owner Charlie Gallichan said: ‘Renewable energy projects like this not only minimise our environmental impact, they are a form of diversification that will help reduce our costs and assist the future sustainability and financial viability of modern farming businesses.’
JE partnered local solar contractors SunWorks to project manage, install and commission all four arrays using Norwegian REC panels and SolarEdge inverters. Mark Brandon, co-founder and Director of SunWorks, said: ‘We are delighted to enable more locally generated solar power on to Jersey’s grid. These projects are unique on the global solar stage through JE selecting the most cutting-edge, sustainable and bankable products on the market. This combined with the rooftop lease agreements that balance all stakeholders' needs, including JE customers, is truly commendable.
‘Our growing specialist team at SunWorks are committed to our energy mission and go the extra mile to ensure exemplary standards. We are working with JE to find additional suitable sites to accelerate the journey to a more sustainable future.’