Pre-Feasibility Study into Offshore Wind Energy

Prior to undertaking an extension to the REA to take into account offshore wind, RET decided to commission a pre-feasibility report, which looked at the major potential issues surrounding development of offshore wind in Guernsey waters. These included whether Guernsey has a sufficient wind resource (taking into account speed and direction) to enable reasonable operation of wind turbines and whether the costs associated of being a small island would prove prohibitive.

The feasibility report was prepared on behalf of RET by a team of specialists comprising members of the States of Guernsey’s Commerce and Employment Department and their consultant engineers, Halcrow Group Ltd. It was the intention that this feasibility report would allow a broad understanding of the constraints that apply to offshore wind energy development and how these manifest themselves within Guernsey’s unique coastal environment.

The report was centred on two potential small scale developments, 12MW and 30MW arrays, to represent Guernsey’s energy needs using currently available technology. The study considered various environmental and technical constraints to understand the location of potentially suitable zones for arrays.

As well as investigating the main constraints of offshore wind, the feasibility study also looks at the potential cost implications to island electricity prices of wind development.

The study recommended a number of actions to allow the development of offshore wind energy to be taken further forward. It also concluded that whilst the proposal was likely to be both technically and economically feasible, there remain a number of environmental risks that should be addressed at the earliest opportunity, through a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, further studies into public attitudes, and confirming the wind resource through the establishment of a local weather station close to the potential deployment site.

The feasibility study is available to download here. Further information is available on the wind REA is available here.