Funding welcomed for wind-and-tide initiative
An Orkney-based project to develop an innovative use of renewable energy generated on land and at sea has secured funding support from the Scottish Government.
The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Local Energy Challenge Fund has awarded just under £30,000 to the Orkney Surf and Turf initiative.
The project brings together four partners – Orkney Islands Council, the European Marine Energy Centre, Community Energy Scotland and Eday Renewable Energy Ltd. Working together, their aim is to develop plans to integrate wind and tidal technologies to produce hydrogen as an alternative source of fuel, creating increased demand for locally generated renewable energy.
The project will also investigate the potential to develop a low carbon power source for auxiliary systems aboard an inter-island ferry.
Councillor James Stockan, Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “It’s a great result to get the support of the Local Energy Challenge Fund.
“It will enable the development of an innovative project aimed at making good use, close to home, of tidal energy from EMEC’s offshore test site and wind energy from Eday’s community turbine.
“It’s fine to see partner organisations working together to optimise local demand for renewable energy in ways that benefit Orkney and our local communities.”
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC, said “This is the perfect demonstration of how open, honest discussion and working in a close community can bring about near impossible opportunities.
“The hardship being caused by inadequate grid investment over the years is being turned to produce a positive outcome for the islands. It is what Orkney does so well and EMEC is delighted to be playing its part in this.”
Ian Garman, Innovation Development Officer for Community Energy Scotland, said: “This project lets Orkney take another step towards new approaches to manage the limits of its infrastructure.
“It could be a great example how we can take more ownership locally of our energy systems and again offers a reminder of the islands’ place in the forefront of energy innovation.
“Eday’s size and location makes harnessing its natural resources a particular challenge, but the findings here could shape solutions for communities here and across Scotland.”
Andrew Stennett, Eday Renewable Energy’s Finance Director, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside EMEC, OIC and CES in this exciting project, where the potential long term benefits for all concerned could be enormous.
“Making use in this way of energy generated by our turbine would increase its viability and therefore benefit our community, which is the sole purpose of the turbine.
“If a symbiotic relationship between the two ‘surf and turf’ technologies can be established, along with an innovative use of their energy output, the potential for roll out across other geographical areas where marine and land based generators can interface is potentially unlimited.”
The Local Energy Challenge Fund is designed to support large-scale low-carbon demonstrator projects which highlight the benefits of linking local energy generation to local energy use.
In all, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced that 17 local energy projects from across Scotland have been awarded funding to support the development of green energy schemes.
More than 100 applications were received from community groups, charities, local authorities, housing associations, universities and businesses through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Local Energy Challenge Fund. The successful applicants can use the funding to develop their ideas and proposals to take them to the next stage of the Challenge Fund.