Proposals by Alderney Electricity to site wind turbines and solar arrays on the island would not go ahead without full public consultation, the company and the States of Alderney have pledged.
In addition, planning consent will be required for turbines and solar panels once the preferred sites have been confirmed.
The Island Plan adopted in early 2022 seeks to increase the amount of clean energy used to reduce the Island’s carbon footprint as well as provide lower energy costs for individuals and organisations.
Solar and wind sources are both part of Alderney Electricity Limited’s (AEL) ‘3×3’ programme which aims to deliver a third of the Island’s energy needs through renewables within three years. The wind and solar arrays combined will meet the 3×3 objective.
AEL has already completed an upgrade to the power station which currently uses only diesel fuel. It now has the capability to automatically switch between power sources according to the variable input when the wind is light or there is no sunshine.
AEL has already undertaken in-depth studies into 15 possible sites for solar energy panels and presented its findings to the Policy & Finance Committee (PFC) which will discuss the options at its meeting in early December. The favoured site is on land at La Corvee, to the east of the airport and well screened from St Anne by woodland, hedgerows and light industrial units.
Between one and three megawatts of electricity would be provided by around 2,000 solar panels and take AEL halfway towards its 3×3 target.
Three 58m land-based wind turbines could provide the remainder of the renewable energy target. Fort Albert on the north of the island has been identified as a possible site.
PFC Chair Nigel Vooght said: “These are exciting proposals but may be contentious as such matters always are.
“That’s why proposals for both types of energy generation will be put out to public consultation in due course, before planning applications are submitted.”
AEL MD James Lancaster emphasised: “These proposals are in response to the Island Plan and Energy Policy which require us to explore renewables in the form of wind and solar energy. It is important before any decision to proceed that the community understands the full implications of what is being asked, therefore we have worked up a detailed proposal for them to examine.”
AEL is also looking into the use of battery technology to store enough energy to buffer the network at times when solar or wind are not productive.