It is the latest community photovoltaic (PV) project to have been fitted by the company, and the first since the Island came out of lockdown. The new solar panel arrays have been installed on the roof of Guernsey Waste’s facilities building and the reuse store at the Household Waste & Recycle Centre.
Together, they contribute 31kW of electricity to the network. This is in addition to the 312kW already being produced by the existing arrays at Guernsey Post’s headquarters and Electricity House, two of the largest community scale solar facilities in the Channel Islands. To date, the solar system at Longue Hougue achieved its best performance in July when 240kWh was generated – enough electricity to power 19 homes for a day.
Vince Smith, head of energy solutions at Guernsey Electricity, said: “We’re excited to see the performance of this latest array. Our existing community systems have exceeded original expectations, demonstrating that investing in solar technology on a community scale is not just the right thing to do for the environment and customers, but it also offers value for money”.
The target is by 2050, to generate up to 20MW of community solar – estimated to provide up to 10% of Guernsey’s annual electricity requirements.
Earlier this year, Guernsey Electricity published its climate change statement and five year Environmental Sustainability Strategy. This included a target of installing up to 20MW of community solar PV by 2050 which, depending on future demand and ever-evolving technological advances, is estimated to provide up to 10% of Guernsey’s annual electricity requirements.
As part of Guernsey Electricity’s ‘renewables for all’ approach, this local community investment allows every islander to benefit from locally produced solar energy.
Mr Smith added: “We believe that everyone should benefit from sustainable electricity, regardless of their individual circumstances. For customers that are unable to invest in their own solar panels for financial reasons or who live in a property without their own roof space, these larger scale installations offer a route to locally produced renewable energy in a way that is fair and beneficial for all”.
Guernsey Waste senior technical advisor, Rob Roussel, said the project complemented the Island’s waste strategy which sees all food waste and general refuse exported to the UK and Europe to recover energy that is fed into the national gird as electricity or used for district heating and electricity.
“It is good news that we are managing to extract the maximum benefit from the waste the Island is producing. These new solar installations now provide an additional, beneficial source of renewable energy that can be used locally”.
Guernsey Electricity has confirmed it has a healthy number of ongoing PV projects including an array at the King George V Playing Fields. The company is open to discussing further potential installations, which depend on generation potential, grid capacity and installation and maintenance requirements.