The Energy Blog Powering Jersey's Nightingale Hospital - six months' work in 13 days

Jersey Electricity teams pull out all the stops to assist critical community project

The Coronavirus outbreak has brought what is probably the largest ever peacetime mobilisation of temporary infrastructure across the world – and Jersey is no exception. Within just four weeks from the start of April to the beginning of May, the Island will have acquired a new 180-bed field hospital to help us cope with this devastating global pandemic.

Jersey Electricity is proud to have assisted with this critical community project from the outset. Even before Millbrook playing field was contemplated as the site for the 150m x 30m Nightingale Hospital, the Government of Jersey were working closely with JE engineers who provided officials and developers Camerons with details on supply capacity options and the works required at all the sites being considered along with any potential issues.


Once Millbrook had been chosen, JE Construction Engineers arrived on site on 11 April to provide a temporary power supply that is vital for a building site of this nature. JE loaned an emergency portable generator that is sometimes used out on the road to restore supplies to homes in the event of a prolonged outage.

The team that installed the generator worked through the Easter weekend, building the substation kiosk and making the connections to the generator to provide the site with the correct supply.


At the same time, JE’s Planning Engineers were hard at work with architects and site construction engineers on the power requirement of the hospital itself. JE agreed to fast-track and build an 11kV/450V substation that will provide eight 400-Amp services for oxygen provision, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), critical services, power and lighting and other essential services for staff.


By 22 April the Construction Team was making off the connection to the substation in readiness for cable jointing that connects the substation to the network and makes it live. This type of installation would usually take up to six months from planning to commission and was instead completed in 13 days. 

Night main new

JE Operations Director Mark Preece, who has overseen the electrical supply works, said: ‘This is the first time we have ever provided site supplies in this way and to these very tight time lines. Importantly, we have also planned this so that if more load is required in future, we can provide it quickly.

‘The majority of our Construction Team has been involved in this while their colleagues have continued to carry out other essential maintenance and network reinforcement across the Island to maintain supplies – works that are also critical at this time. They have done a remarkable job so far while adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing and working safely to protect the public and themselves.’

Night 11

In addition to the power supply works, Heating Engineers from JE’s Building Services, JEBS, are working on the internal services within the Nightingale Hospital building itself.

JE CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘I am immensely proud of the commitment and professionalism demonstrated by all of our teams involved in the Nightingale Hospital. From the moment the project was announced, we offered to provide our services without charge in what is not just a vital project for the Government, but for the whole Jersey community.  Our people are proud to serve and support our community in any way possible in these challenging times.

‘We also thank all the medical and support staff who will eventually work in the Nightingale Hospital. Their work is of paramount importance in Jersey’s fight against the disease and we are proud to have helped enable that work alongside all the other companies involved.

‘The Nightingale shows what is possible when everyone really pulls together for a common goal.’