Other Public Services News
Week Commencing 20th March 2017 Energy & business services: Last week Swedish company Hexicon was given consent from Scottish Government for its Dounreay Tri floating offshore wind project. As previously highlighted here, the company has announced commitments to work with Scrabster Harbour Trust to establish an Operations & Maintenance base for the project, and with North Highland College UHI to establish apprenticeship training, should it reach financial closure.
Week Commencing 13th March 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to see this week's news that Caithness firm GMR Henderson has been awarded work on the construction programme for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project's Operations & Maintenance base in Wick. The company, whose base is only about 100 metres away from the O&M site on the Wick harbourfront, will support the initial demolition and preparatory works.
Week Commencing 6 March 2017 Energy & business services: Atlantis Resources Ltd has this week announced that Phase 1A of the MeyGen project has been awarded full accreditation by Ofgem. Phase 1A is now an accredited 6MW tidal stream generating station and will receive 5 ROCS/MWh.
A major upgrade and expansion of Dounreay's Thurso town centre office has been completed. David Flear, Chair of Dounreay Stakeholder Group, officially reopened the building which sits at the entrance to the high street and has been the site's public information office for almost a decade.
Week commencing 27 February 2017 Energy & business services: As the construction of the Operations and Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project gets closer to starting, the long-term staffing of the project is already being considered. Tier 1 contractor Siemens is inviting applications for apprenticeship programmes: the Siemens offer is for Advanced Apprenticeships in Mechatronic Maintenance (site based technician).
Week Commencing 20 February 2017 Energy & business services: At a meeting of the north Planning Applications Committee of Highland Council this week Councillors agreed to offer no objection to the application by Dounreay Tri Ltd to construct a floating offshore wind project at a site of the north coast of Caithness. The paper considered by Councillors is available to view here .
Scrabster Harbour has launched its marketing campaign to promote Caithness as a cruise destination to the global cruise industry. The campaign, which will feature a staged marketing approach, will ensure relevant information is delivered at the critical points during the decision making process, and before and after cruise industry events.
The first block of concrete has been removed from the structure of one of Dounreay's cooling ponds - representing a major first step in demolishing the redundant giant chamber. The pond is one of two concrete pits, six metres deep, which was used to store spent fuel from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR).
A unique new archive, funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has opened its doors to the public for the first time, bringing together historical nuclear records from all over the UK. Speaking today at the Nucleus (Nuclear and Caithness Archive) in Wick, NDA chairman Stephen Henwood, said:Today we see a new chapter in the important role Caithness has played in the UK's nuclear history.
Week Commencing 6 February 2017. Enabling activities: The "Jobs and How to Get Them" event was held in Thurso last Saturday (see my online blog and https://www.facebook.com/caithnessjobs/ for event photos).
Week Commencing 16 January 2017. Energy & business services: Following last week's very welcome news that Highland Council has approved the application to redevelop harbour-side buildings in Wick as an Operations & Maintenance base for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project comes the first visualisation of what the restored buildings will look like - for picture see the BOWL Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/beatricewind .
This is a short message to update you on activities relating to the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). Enabling activities: Following last week's news that the Reporter appointed to lead the Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the Berriedale Braes Improvement Scheme had recommended that the proposed Improvement Scheme should go ahead unamended, it was good to hear this week from Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, that work will now be undertaken to progress the scheme through the remaining statutory processes.
Week Commencing 12 December 2016 Energy & business services: Good to see news yesterday (Thursday) that the second phase of the Meygen project has reached financial closure, allowing construction to take place in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth in 2017. The project will be taken forward by Stroma Tidal Power Ltd, a wholly owned company of Atlantis Resources Ltd.
Energy & business services: I met this week with RES Offshore, who are working on the Dounreay Tri project, which is seeking consent to build a floating offshore wind demonstrator at a site north of Dounreay. Myself and Alan Ogg of North Highland College met with Senior Developer Jack Farnham to discuss the potential for jobs associated with the operation & maintenance of the project.
More than 30,000 bricks have been removed from three pits within a redundant facility as part of a project to decommission a former effluent treatment plant. A scaffold platform has been constructed to allow operators, wearing full airline suits, access to remove the bricks using small electrically operated hand tools.
Week commencing 21 November 2016 Energy & business services: Representatives of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd were in Wick yesterday (Thursday 24th) to give a public update on progress with the project, and perhaps more specifically with plans to use Wick harbour as the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. The event was very busy, and it was great to be able to talk to key personnel involved in the project.
Week Commencing 5 November 2016 Energy & business services: · The vessel Olympic Ares arrived in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth this week to install the first of the turbines for the MeyGen tidal energy project. As previously highlighted here the turbine support structures and ballast blocks were successfully installed during October, bringing welcome work to the area through Scrabster harbour and local companies.
Week Commencing 31 October 2017 Enabling activities: Colleague Andrew Johnston, Director of the Highlands and Islands Science Skills Academy, was in Caithness this week, and it was good to catch up with him to discuss progress with the "Newton Rooms" concept, which has seen a network of facilities established in Norway to give practical, hands-on experiences of learning programmes in sciences. The development of the concept in the Highlands has been boosted by support through the Inverness City-Region Deal, and we believe that Caithness would make a fantastic first "Newton Room" venue in the Highland area.
Week Commencing 10 October 2016 Energy & Business Services: The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project is one of the largest private sector investments in Scotland, and to illustrate the sheer scale of the work the consortium has produced a short animation, which is available to view at https://vimeo.com/186162042 Also this week, lead partner SSE has broken ground on the site in Moray where the subsea cable from the Beatrice turbines will connect into the National Grid, ready for the date in 2019 when the project will be operational. http://renews.biz/104493/sse-breaks-ground-for-beatrice/ Tourism, Food & Drink: Last weekend's spectacular weather helped another successful "Taste North" celebration of local produce from Caithness and Sutherland.
Week Commencing 3 October 2016 Energy & Business Services: Further contract awards for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project this week, again associated with the construction phase of the project. http://renews.biz/104432/dutch-tool-up-for-beatrice/ and the planning application submitted to Highland Council by BOWL is also available to view on the Council's website at http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=ODFTGQIHJAO00 Good to see that the first foundation for the MeyGen tidal project was successfully installed in the Inner Sound of thePentland Firth overnight on Thursday/ Friday this week.