Guernsey re-establishes electricity supply from France

October 8th, 2012 by Guernsey Electricity Ltd.

Guernsey Electricity engineers, working closely with Jersey Electricity engineers, have completed the latest stage of restoring Guernsey’s undersea inter-connector cable to Jersey.

The cable has been successfully reconnected and re-energised.

Guernsey Electricity has begun the gradual process of bringing it up to capacity supplying the island’s network.

Bob Beebe, Operations Director at Guernsey Electricity Ltd., said that the re-energisation process has been successful. He was confident that there should not be any further problems as the restoration is completed.

“The re-energisation of the 90,000 volt cable and transformer took place on the morning of 5 October 2012 and since then we have been gradually working through a detailed testing phase.”

“Connection to Guernsey’s grid has been made and we are currently importing electricity through the link reinforcing supplies from the Vale power station.”

“It is important that we still monitor the situation very closely as we bring the link up to winter capacity,” he said.

The cable suffered a fault in April 2012, and has been out of action while repairs have taken place.

In August 2012, the cable itself was restored as all undersea work was completed, and Guernsey Electricity began the process of re-commissioning the link.

The process was delayed by a further problem at Barker’s Quarry, the substation where the cable connects to the island grid.

Alan Bates, Managing director of Guernsey Electricity, said “it is good news for the island that the repairs have been completed and we are now starting to import electricity again.”

“However it is important to remember that it is not a return to normal electricity importation levels. Unfortunately it has been concluded that after a fault in June 2012 with one of the inter-connectors between Jersey and France the cable is not technically or economically viable for repair and will be decommissioned. This means our import capacity will be reduced until a new cable is laid,” he said.

“While we can now reduce the amount of electricity we are generating on-island we will still be doing more of this than would be usual. The reduction in the volume of electricity we can import from France is the cause of our increase in costs and the recent tariff increase.”

“When greater import capacity becomes available or if the wholesale oil market prices reduce we will pass on these reductions to our customers.”

The exact cause of the original fault on the Jersey to Guernsey cable is still to be determined.

“The section of the cable that failed has now been forensically examined in the UK to determine the nature of the fault. We now await the final report as this information will be needed to finalise our discussions with our insurers,” Mr Bates said..


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