17 October 2023
An offshore wind farm, with the potential to provide significant environmental and economic benefits for Jersey will be built in the southwest of the Island’s territorial waters, under proposals announced today (Tuesday 17 October 2023) by the Council of Ministers.
The plans for a facility of up to around 1,000MW would comfortably produce enough electricity to meet the Island’s own needs, with the remainder to be exported.
Ministers will hold a public consultation and have lodged a Proposition asking States Members to give their ‘in principle’ support for the project.
It is proposed that the wind farm should be privately funded and designed, and delivered by a consortium with substantial experience of similar development elsewhere.
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf said: “This is not a new idea, but we believe now is the time for Jersey to make its move and formally begin a process which could ultimately lead to the development of a wind farm in Jersey waters. 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.
“There are many potential environmental and economic benefits. 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.
“Generating capacity at the levels we’re proposing is around six times Jersey’s current electricity demand, and around twice our requirement if all the energy needs of our current economy – including transport and home heating – were powered entirely by electricity. This means we can create new export opportunities as well.”
Ministers are proposing a three-phase approach:
In principle consideration: This includes public engagement, industry engagement, and the States debate on the Proposition
Leasing the seabed: This includes a competitive tender process and confirmation that a successful bidder has a legal right to develop the site
Consenting: This includes the development consortium consulting with Islanders, assessing environmental impact and submitting a formal application for approval Islanders have previously shown strong support for renewable energy.
In a 2019 Island Plan consultation, 85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the Plan should continue to encourage the development of offshore wind and tidal energy.
The major public engagement process will begin next month and run for 14 weeks, including public meetings, the opportunity to view visual ‘mock ups’, and a formal consultation survey.
Deputy Renouf added: “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.”