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Importing Renewable Electricity

Our sub-sea cable between Jersey and Guernsey, ‘GJ1’, was installed in 2000 and has transformed Guernsey’s electricity supply.

Prior to 2000, the power station, in St Sampson was the islands only source of electricity. It operated continuously, generating electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but now, we  import 90% of the islands electricity. 

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today, and we believe the energy sector should lead the way towards a greener and sustainable world.  

Generating electricity from the power station has both financial and environmental costs and we believe that importing affordable, sustainable and renewable electricity from Europe is the right solution for our small island with big environmental aspirations.  

We want to embrace new technologies for everyone’s benefit and enjoyment. We are transitioning from fossil fuels towards renewable energy in order to protect our environment today and for the benefit of future generations.

  

Plugging into renewables

We believe in renewables for all.

Renewable energy shouldn’t be an elective choice. We believe it should be for all, delivered straight to your door. 

Your flow of electricity hasn't altered, but the energy source has. 

The imported electricity, previously a mix of nuclear and hydro, is now from 100% renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectricity for everyone on Guernsey to benefit from. This is an exciting step for our community and shows that small jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, can lead the way in the transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, and in doing so protect the environment for future generations.   

 

Do we still need the power station?

The import cable alone does not meet the islands electricity needs when energy demand is at its greatest. The GJ1 cable can provide 100% of Guernsey’s energy needs in summer and around 75% in winter, so the power station is still required as both a top-up for the winter peak periods and as a back-up when the GJ1 interconnector requires to be switched off for maintenance.  

Guernsey Electricity’s long-term strategy is for an energy system that supports renewables and reduces the reliance on fossil fuels to use the power station for emergency generation only.  

Before a second interconnector cable link direct to France is installed the power station will still be required to ‘top-up’ supplies during winter periods, and provides a ‘back-up’ in the event of any issues with the GJ1 interconnector cable. 

This second cable would mean that the power station will no longer need to ‘top-up’ supplies and will act purely as a ‘back-up’ for emergencies. 

Direct connections to France

Longer term, Guernsey Electricity is committed to providing the island with 100% renewable and sustainable electricity with the installation of a further cable direct to France, supplemented by community scale locally generated renewable electricity using solar arrays. 

We are aiming to have a 100MW direct cable link to France installed by 2025. 

The benefit of two cable links will help meet the Island’s demand for secure sustainable, environmentally friendly and affordable electricity. We will continue to move forward with securing a second connection direct with Normandy; this will allow us to meet around 99% of Guernsey's current and future energy needs and dramatically decarbonise our electricity. 

Find out more about this project here. 

The Channel Islands Electricity Grid

The Channel Islands Electricity Grid, often referred to as the CIEG was set up in 1998 between Guernsey Electricity and Jersey Electricity to operate and manage these submarine cables between Europe and the Channel Islands. Find out more about the CIEG here.