Guernsey Electricity ensure supply with new generator

One of Guernsey Electricity's current generators
Image caption Guernsey Electricity said the current generators were nearing the end of their working life

A new £14m diesel generator will ensure the long-term security of the island's electricity supplies, according to Guernsey Electricity.

The equipment will replace some of the older generators, which were built in the 1970s and are approaching the end of their working life.

The generator will be used to bridge the energy gap while a second cable link with France is installed.

It will take about a year to install and work is due to begin in the spring.

Operations director Bob Beebe said: "Our existing generating plant is of a considerable age.

"While all of our engines are maintained in good condition, they only have a finite lifespan and with the oldest approaching 35 years of service it is right that we are looking to strategically replace some of the fleet with a more modern efficient plant.

"Principally the new unit will give us better performance, particularly with regard to start up times.

"With a medium speed engine we will be able to bring it 'online' two or three times faster than the older generators.

"As a brand new generator, it will also benefit from design improvements resulting in better efficiency and a reduction in emissions."

Mr Beebe said in the long-term the company aimed to increase the imports of low-carbon electricity from France and develop renewable energy solutions.

He said: "In the short term we need the added security of being able to meet all the islands electricity needs by generating locally.

"This safeguards us in the event that our single submarine cable link to France via Jersey experiences any problems."

The 360 tonne oil-fired generator, provided by Finnish firm Wartsila, is expected to produce 17 MW, which is less than half of the amount of power the island currently imports from France.

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