Call for JE to come on board in developing Jersey wind-farm proposal

St Brieuc wind farm viewed from Le Hocq with Green Island in the foreground. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37793213)

JERSEY Electricity should become a partner in the government’s wind-farm proposals to help de-risk the project, according to a St Helier Deputy.

Deputy David Warr has brought an amendment to the Council of Ministers’ offshore wind proposition, describing it as “essentially a sales brochure”.

He wants to see the JEC involved as a partner with the government “during all stages of the development of an offshore wind farm, including but not limited to the establishment of processes for engaging third-party developers, and the utilisation of the company’s sector knowledge, expertise and French contractual relationships to ensure that risks are managed appropriately”.

In the report accompanying his amendment, Deputy Warr said he was acting because he believed the proposition – which was lodged last year by the Council of Members of which he was a member at the time – did not “feel as impartial as I hoped it would”.

“I counted the word ‘exciting’ four times and ‘benefits’ 11 times; however the word ‘risk’ appears just once, and the word ‘de-risk’ doesn’t even get a mention. I know a huge amount of work went into this report. However, it does have its limitations and I’d be remiss if I didn’t draw the Assembly’s attention to them.

“Whilst I appreciate that the purpose of this proposition is for this Assembly to give a thumbs-up to continue investigating the opportunity, I think it’s appropriate to delve into what I see as essentially a sales brochure,” he said.

Deputy Warr’s amendment, if adopted, would introduce a new paragraph into the proposition, giving the JEC a formal role in the development of plans for any offshore wind farm. He argues that a guarantee that proposals are developed by the government and JE together is in the Island’s interests because it will bring “the best people” together in the same room.

“I’m sure if [JE] had written this report the words ‘risk’ and ‘de-risking’ would have featured much more prominently and why I, for one, would sleep far better at night should this Assembly decide to back my amendment,” he said.

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