1. ITV Report

Electricity prices could rise to cover cost of Guernsey undersea cable

The cable link between Guernsey and Jersey Photo: Guernsey Electricity

The underwater electricity cable between Jersey and Guernsey will be replaced.

Guernsey Electricity say the decision follows 'a comprehensive examination of the condition of the cable, which identified inherent design and manufacturing issues'.

The GJ1 cable links Guernsey to France, via Jersey, but it has been working at a limited capacity since an island-wide power cut on October 1st last year.

Guernsey has since been reliant on the power station in the Vale for two-thirds of it's electricity.

The electricity provider say a replacement cable will ensure 'a more secure and affordable supply of electricity'.

We have undertaken a considerable amount of work since last October, liaising closely with a number of stakeholders, including cable manufacturers, suppliers and the States of Guernsey to determine the best course of action. Having reviewed the options, we are looking to replace the cable, rather than conduct further very expensive repairs. We were always going to replace GJ1 by 2030 so the current issue means this investment decision is being brought forward. The intention is to return to importing low carbon affordable electricity as soon as possible. This is not a change of strategy but is a change of the investment timing. Until the cable is fully operational the power station will be needed to ensure electricity security is maintained.

– Alan Bates, chief executive of Guernsey Electricity
Guernsey Electricity's power station in the Vale Credit: ITV Channel TV

The cost of replacing the cable, however, could be passed on to customers.

The energy company are working with the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) to 'recover historic operating costs and adjust tariffs to reflect changes in future costs, particularly for the replacement of cables'.

Guernsey Electricity say tariffs haven't changed since October 2012, and the underlying costs of powering the island have increased.

We want to be open with our customers. We hope that they understand that the cost of providing electricity has increased, and this cost will need to be passed on to those that use electricity today, rather than future customers.

– Alan Bates, chief executive of Guernsey Electricity