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Offshore Wind Farm Plan Unveiled

Ministers have announced plans to pursue an offshore wind farm that could generate enough energy to power Jersey six times over.

The government is proposing the development of turbines on the southwestern corner of Jersey territorial waters, close to St Brieuc.

Ministers believe it would benefit the island environmentally and economically.

Currently, 95% of Jersey's electricity is imported from France, but with the offshore farm generating one GigaWatt of energy it could supply 3,800 GigaWatt hours of electricity.

The island uses 636 GWh annually of electricity alone and 1664 GWh for all energy sources.

Ministers say plans for the proposed wind farm would 'generate around six times Jersey’s current electricity demand', with the remainder to be exported.

The idea is that it would be privately funded, designed, and delivered by a consortium with substantial experience of similar development elsewhere. In the UK, there are plans to build 30 single GigaWatt farms.

Multiple investors have already shown interest in the project.

The seabed, owned by Jersey, would be leased out to an operator who would own the infrastructure.

Any electricity made there would then be subject to a Power Purchase Agreement.

This would specify where the energy goes and at what price.

The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, says this is not a new idea, but they believe now is the time for Jersey to make its move and formally begin a process.

"The demand for clean energy is huge and offshore wind is now a mature, proven and price-competitive form of electricity generation. It all adds up to a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Island.

"Access to locally generated renewable energy can provide greater price stability for Islanders at a time when energy markets are volatile.

"It would also allow us to lock in for the long-term access to low-carbon energy, with income streams to fund Jersey’s transition to net zero emissions and other public services."

There will be a proposed three-phased approach to the wind farm:

  1. In principle consideration - This includes public engagement, industry engagement, and the States debate on the Proposition.
  2. Leasing the seabed - This includes a competitive tender process and confirmation that a successful bidder has a legal right to develop the site.
  3. Consenting - This includes the development consortium consulting with Islanders, assessing environmental impact and submitting a formal application for approval.

A major public consultation will start next month and run for 14 weeks:

“We have announced our intentions at an early stage to ensure Islanders have an opportunity, from the start, to have their say ahead of the States debate next spring.

“If States Members are supportive, we expect to bring forward, in 2024, the necessary legislation. Then in 2025 we can identify the right developer.

I’m incredibly excited to be launching this project on behalf of the Council of Ministers. This as an opportunity for Jersey to make clean energy a central part of its economic future.”

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