WORK is underway on Long Beach in Jersey in preparation for the landing of the new undersea cable link, Normandie 3.
Main contractor Prysmian Powerlink, along with representatives from Guernsey Electricity and Jersey Electricity, have been working on the installation of the cable between France and Jersey over the last six weeks.
The work was conducted via the cable installation vessel ‘ The Cable Enterprise’ and involved pulling a plough through the seabed to create a furrow into which the 2,500-tonne, €48m cable, was laid.
Normandie 3 links the Channel Islands to France and forms part of the Channel Islands Electricity Grid (CIEG) along with Normandie 2, an existing 100MW cable between Jersey and France and GJ1, a 60MW cable between Guernsey and Jersey. Its 100MW capacity will be utilised by both Jersey Electricity and Guernsey Electricity.
Prysmian Powerlink is undertaking the work landside in Jersey.
The Cable Enterprise will be taken to the highest point up the beach near Gorey, about 400 metres from the sea wall. She will be safely anchored, and a loop of cable will be reeled off the vessel, then cut and sealed. This length will be then fed into the ducts which have been laid under the seawall where the cable can be jointed into the land cable system. The ship can then be safely turned around and will set sail to take the spares to the CIEG storage depot in Dordrecht, Holland.
Guernsey Electricity managing director Alan Bates said: “The landing of the Normandie 3 cable link is a major milestone in the project but there is still a lot of work to be completed in both France and Jersey before the cable is operational.
“The cable laying process is extremely complex and has involved the expertise of a number of contractors and engineers from the CIEG. This project is good example of the islands working together and it’s an important joint venture for the CIEG.
“This new cable, once commissioned, will provide both islands with extra capacity allowing Guernsey Electricity to increase the amount of cheaper, lower carbon energy we import, reducing on-island generation to less than 20%.”
The project is expected to be complete before the end of the year when commissioning tests will begin. The link should be fully commissioned and able to add power to the grid in both islands by 2015.