Jersey Electricity to develop solar PV farm at Sorel Point. Image: Getty.

Jersey Electricity has confirmed it will develop a ground-mounted solar PV farm near Sorel Point, Jersey, which includes an approximate 3MWp array.

Having previously focused on roof-based solar that provides renewable energy to the grid, Jersey Electricity is now expanding into strategically placed ground-mounted solar in a bid to increase the generation capacity of the company.

These series of sites will be strategically placed in areas close to strong grid connection points. Jersey Electricity’s vision is to bring on-island generation of solar PV to more than 10MWp.

The Sorel Point site will be developed in conjunction with local ecologists to manage the site to the same standards as the Coastal National Park.

“There is a clear desire for Jersey to be more energy independent and we believe that ground-mounted solar PV, which is the most cost effective of all the solar projects, can now play an increasing and valuable role as part of Jersey’s energy mix while we continue to research the viability of offshore wind,” said Chris Ambler, CEO of Jersey Electricity.

The Sorel site is situated on low quality agricultural land close to Ronez Quarry and a motocross track. By placing ground-mounted solar PV arrays, the biodiversity of the site will be able to be rejuvenated whilst also generating renewable energy. It will also mark the end of fertiliser and pesticide use, which is expected to significantly enhance biodiversity in the area.

Jersey Electricity states that the site is well screened from a local coastal path and surrounding area by established hedgerows. The proposals include improving hedgerows, planting more native species, and providing bat and bird nesting boxes.

The firm is also actively engaging with the local community for their input on the development and will hold a public consultation at St John Parish Hall. This will allow members of the public and interested parties to view a display of the solar farm scheme.