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Local communities invited to hear latest on Pentland Firth projects

20th November 2011

Residents in Orkney, Caithness and North Sutherland are being invited to evening talks to hear the latest news on the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters projects, the first commercial wave and tidal stream energy schemes in the world.

The talks follow public exhibitions hosted by The Crown Estate in November 2010, which were attended by over 700 people, and are being held to give an update on progress over the last year.

Each event will include a question and answer session so members of the public can quiz a panel of key individuals from the development companies, The Crown Estate and other organisations about the projects.

The events will also introduce the new Pentland Firth Leadership Forum, which is a partnership between The Crown Estate, Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council, the Highland Council and other stakeholders to take a strategic approach to supporting project development.

John Callaghan, wave and tidal programme manager at The Crown Estate, said, "Conscious of the high degree of local interest in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters projects, we are pleased to be hosting these talks to give an opportunity for local residents to hear how the projects are progressing and ask questions of those leading their delivery. We were delighted with the turnout last year and want to ensure local communities are kept up-to-date."

The Pentland Firth and Orkney waters projects were announced during 2010 at the conclusion of a leasing round run by The Crown Estate. Eleven projects with a total potential capacity of 1,600 MW were awarded development rights.

Since then, the developers have been active in surveying their sites, starting to prepare environmental impact assessments and project engineering design activities. Work has also progressed to prepare supporting infrastructure, including port development and electricity grid upgrades. The developers are planning to seek statutory consents for their projects and start to construct and operate them later this decade.

The events are as follows:

* Monday 28 November: The Weigh Inn, Burnside, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7UG
* Tuesday 29 November: Kirkwall and St Ola Town Hall and Community Centre, Broad Street, Kirkwall, KW15 1DH

Both events start with a light buffet at 5.45pm. Talks start at 6.15pm and sessions will finish by 8.30pm.

For people not living on Orkney mainland, foot passenger ferry fares will be refunded. Simply present a ticket valid for travel on Tuesday 29 November at the event.

Further information can be viewed at:
http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/energy/wave-and-tidal/pentland-firth-and-orkney-waters and queries about the events or the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters programme in general, can be emailed to waveandtidal[AT]thecrownestate.co.uk

About Crown Estate
The Crown Estate



* The Crown Estate manages a highly diverse 7 billion property portfolio across the UK.
* We pay all of our surplus revenue (profit) to the Treasury for the benefit of the public: in 2010/11 this was 230.9 million, with 11.9m coming from Scotland.
* The Crown Estate is committed to working in partnership with the Scottish Government and members of the Scottish Parliament, local authorities and a wide range of other stakeholders to safeguard the long-term interests of the environment and the communities with which we work.
* In Scotland, The Crown Estate includes:

- The marine estate consists of over half the foreshore and the seabed out to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit. The Crown Estate has the right to explore and utilise the resources of the UK continental shelf (excluding oil, gas and coal), including the right to license renewable energy in the form of offshore wind, wave and tidal power. We are working with our partners to ensure that Scotland is well placed to take advantage of the benefits that renewables will bring through employment and by reducing carbon emissions.

- The rural estate in Scotland comprises 43,000 hectares and includes the Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirth, Stirling and Whitehill estates. It includes 185 agricultural tenancies and 102 residential properties.

- The urban estate includes retail property in Edinburgh.

The Crown Estate in Scotland is managed from its Edinburgh Office at 6 Bells Brae Edinburgh EH4 3BJ.

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