Pentland Firth Grid Connections To Be Investigated
11th September 2008
Consultants have been appointed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Government to identify options for renewable energy producers in the Pentland Firth, between Caithness and Orkney, to connect energy supplies to the grid.
Xero Energy Ltd has been awarded the contract through the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project. Xero Energy will assess the present day grid capacity in the region and provide recommendations on what grid infrastructure and improvements will be required for the project to meet its objectives.
The tidal energy project aims to support the development of a marine energy industry in the Pentland Firth to the significant benefit of the local and national economies in a sustainable and environmentally aware way.
Audrey MacIver, head of HIE's energy team said: "We are very pleased to be awarding this contract as issues relating to the electricity grid are key to the future of renewable energy and hence the economy all over the Highlands and Islands."
This is the first piece of work that the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project has commissioned, and project manager Louise Smith said she hoped that it marked the start of a significant phase in a new industry for the region.
Nigel Scott of Xero Energy commented: "We are delighted to be working with HIE to develop a blueprint for grid connection of Pentland Firth marine energy against what is, by any account, a challenging grid related engineering and regulatory landscape. We hope this will lead to big things."
The Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project is one of the key initiatives being promoted by the Caithness Regeneration Partnership, established early last year to help develop the economy during the run-down of the nuclear plant. The Partnership is made up of four agencies - Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) and the Scottish Government.
For more on the Caithness Rgeneration Partnership go to
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of business and sector development. Originally from County Durham, David Oxley joined the organisation in 2004 as head of operations in Lochaber before moving to Forres with his wife and son in 2011 to take up the role of area manager in Moray.
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the development of the campus.
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Over 250 community leaders from across Scotland will meet in Aviemore today and tomorrow (21-22 September) at a national conference to look at the impact and future role of community-led development on Scotland's social and economic fortunes. The event, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by the Scottish Government, brings together community groups, academia and experts to discuss the vital contribution communities make to Scotland and consider how to support their continuing and increasing ambitions.
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Food and drink businesses looking to grow through innovation are encouraged to register for a free workshop which takes place in Inverness on 31 August. The event will focus on the new ‘Make Innovation Happen' service which provides a single access point for all innovation support to the Scottish food and drink industry.
Twenty-three Scottish companies are travelling to Norway this week to highlight the country's expertise at the world's largest aquaculture technology exhibition. Aqua Nor 2017 gets under way in Trondheim on Tuesday (15 August 2017), and runs until Friday (18 August 2017).
The successful North Coast 500 tourist route will need strong co-ordinated support from the public sector to ensure its long term sustainability. Experiences of the initiative should also be shared with groups around the country looking to develop similar projects.
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