The Islay Triathlon 2013 will take place on Saturday June 22nd. The Mactaggart Leisure Centre can help with your training plan every Monday from 20th May.
The purpose of the IECBS is to raise funds to finance the installation of the community wind turbine at Castlehill. A community benefit society is set up and run by its members in order to conduct business for the benefit the community. The members are people and/or organisations who buy shares in the society, and receive interest on their investments.
The profits made by the society are used to provide benefit to the whole community. Each member has one vote irrespective of the amount invested, and the Board of Directors is elected by the members.
The intention is that IECBS will generate revenues from feed in tariffs and the sale of electricity from the community wind turbine at Castlehill. It is estimated this could yield £60-80,000 p.a. for the community for twenty years. To purchase and install the wind turbine£650,000 needs to be raised. The plan is that a share offer will be launched in July 2013 once IECBS has been formally registered,and people and organisations will be invited to purchase shares. It is likely that the minimum investment will be £100, maximum £20,000.
The meeting on Tuesday 14th of May will be an opportunity for the community to get involved ,receive more information and discus show IECBS would work in greater detail. To provide expert advice on how community benefit societies are established and governed, Dave Hollings, Cooperative Mutual Solutions, wil lbe attending. No investments are required at this stage!
Further information can be obtained from Lindy MacLellan at the Islay Energy Trust.
IET wants to hear your views
A chance for you to let Islay Energy Trust hear your views on what our communities need is available now. You can help decide what projects should be funded and how, from the expected income generated by the proposed wind turbine. Just go to the following link and complete the survey online : https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/IslayEnergyTrust
Public consultation meetings during April have been planned as follows and are being run by independent consultants, SKS Scotland – please drop in and give us your views:
Portnahaven Hall, Thurs 18th, 10am – 1pm
Bruichladdich Hall, Thurs 18th, 3 – 6pm
Ballygrant Hall, Friday 19th, 10 – 1 pm
Bowmore Hall, Saturday 20th, 10am – 12.30pm
Columba Hall, Saturday 20th, 1.30-4pm
If you’d like more information or would be interested in joining a focus group to be involved in more detailed discussion, please feel free to get in touch:
Lindy at the IET office in Bowmore – lindy. firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel. 01496 301413
Jim Bennett of SKS Scotland – jimbennett@ sksscotland.co.uk Tel 07932 736006
Shona Sinclair of SKS Scotland – email@example.com Tel 07711 552094
The Sound of Islay Tidal Energy Project has been awarded up to €20.6m funding from the EU’s NER300 scheme.
NER300 funding is based on the income of the European Emissions Trading Scheme in which the sale of the 300 million allowances (which each provide the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide) forms the New Entrants Reserve.
The fund will be used to support innovative renewable energy technology and carbon capture and storage projects.
This is excellent news for the project and shows further support for the marine renewables industry at a crucial time in its development.
Details of the award decision can be found on the European Commission Climate Action website.
Following the public consultation meetings held on Islay in September, the developers of the West Islay Tidal Array are now seeking views from the local business community on what they consider would be the effects upon their businesses.
DP Marine Energy Ltd and its partners DEME Blue Energy propose to build one of the world’s first commercial scale tidal energy parks in the waters approximately 8km off the tip of the Rhinns of Islay.
PBA Roger Tym, a firm of Economists and Planners, has been commissioned to undertake the Socio-Economic, Tourism and Recreation Assessment relating to the proposed development, and to assess the nature of the potential economic and business effects.
The firm would welcome the views of all parts of the business community on the beneficial effects in accommodating those employed or providing services during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the project or negative effects from any form of disturbance. To that end, a business survey is available for completion on-line on the following link:
Electronic and paper copies are available from the Islay Energy Trust (IET) which is helping to facilitate the assessment. IET would like to encourage all kinds of businesses to take part in the survey and ensure that their views are included.
Further information on the survey and direct contact can be made with either the assessment team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141-332-6464 or the Islay Energy Trust on email@example.com or 01496-301413.
The assessment team will also be contacting tourism accommodation providers direct by telephone during the week commencing 3rd December and they would be very grateful for any views or information that could be provided. In addition, the team also hopes to have a number of face-to-face meetings with businesses in the coming weeks prior to Christmas.
Full details of the proposed project are available on-line at www.westislaytidal.com.
Islay Energy Trust’s met mast has been gathering data on the proposed community wind turbine site near Glenegedale for just over 4 months now, and it’s all good news so far. The wind resource, as expected, is excellent, with wind speeds averaging just over 7m/s during the period, with the windiest time of year still to come. One surprise – to me at least – has been that despite everything I was taught at school the prevailing wind on Islay has been from everywhere but the south west! If you haven’t yet spotted the met mast, take a look above the High Road when you’re next passing Buildbase – this will also be the site of the turbine.
Gathering of wind data is an essential part of our project, as full figures are required to guarantee any finance, as well as to satisfy the turbine manufacturer that the desired turbine will perform to their warranty standards. By next June we will have a whole year’s figures, and, if all goes well with the bird study and no geese put in an appearance in the vicinity, then shortly afterwards we hope to be granted planning permission.
That, of course, is not the whole story, as the main issue facing us at present is the lack of grid capacity in Argyll as a whole, which means that theoretically we may not be able to connect until 2016, when the new Carradale – Hunterston link is completed. We are currently engaged with Community Energy Scotland, SSE and other bodies to try to identify a solution to this, and in the meantime will complete all preparatory work so that we are ready to move as soon as possible; our goal, grid allowing, is to have the project completed by late 2013, although this may yet prove to be ambitious.
The delay does affect the economics of the project as the Feed-in Tariff will be reduced next April for new installations; however it will still mean around £80,000 per year should be available for community use. How best to spend this fund will be the subject of wide consultation in the near future, and we hope the wider community will help put together a sound plan.
Project managers from ScottishPower Renewables met with more than 90 potential suppliers on Friday 26th October to discuss opportunities for involvement in the Sound of Islay Tidal Energy project. ScottishPower Renewables received consent to install up to 10 tidal turbines in the Sound of Islay in 2011 and is now looking in detail at the supply chain for the project.
The event took place at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) near Oban and was organised in partnership with the Islay Energy Trust, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Energy North. The aim was to encourage local businesses and suppliers to learn more about the project and to make their services known to ScottishPower Renewables and ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest, the project’s technology provider.
The majority of businesses came from Argyll with several Islay businesses attending. To date, the project has used a wide variety of local services including ornithology, marine services, transport, accommodation and project management. As the project enters the installation phase there are likely to be further supply chain opportunities in survey work, marine support services, environmental monitoring as well as onshore haulage and construction.
Alan Mortimer, Head of Innovation at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Tidal power has tremendous potential to supply a significant proportion of Scotland’s electricity needs in the coming decades. We have some of the best marine power resources of any country in the world. Our proposed tidal power project in the Sound of Islay is the only scheme in Scotland to have received planning permission, so we are breaking new ground when it comes to delivering a project of this nature.
“For the industry to deliver tidal power projects there needs to be a strong supply chain that includes local companies who can provide a range of products and services to support these developments. We have been working very closely with HIE, Energy North and Argyll and Bute Council to engage local firms who could have something to offer to the marine renewable energy industry.
Andy Macdonald, from the Islay Energy Trust, said “It was great to see the wide range of relevant skills and experience that exists in the region. The Sound of Islay project is getting closer and with the potential for other projects to be developed in the region, this is an excellent time to get involved. I would encourage local businesses to get in touch with me if they would like to find out more about the opportunities.”
ScottishPower Renewables aim to start work on the Islay project in 2013, with machines being installed as early as feasible from 2014. A prototype 1MW (megawatt) tidal power machine was successfully installed for testing off the coast of Orkney late last year. The industry-leading technology has been developed by ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest, who successfully operated a smaller prototype machine in Norwegian waters for more than 6 years and is currently testing their latest model of machine, the HS1000, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
The plans for a Lobster V-Notching Scheme for the Sound of Islay took a major step forward with the visit on Monday 1st October of Dr. Paulo A. Prodöhl from Queen’s University Belfast. Dr. Prodöhl gave a talk to some of the local fishermen on the success of a similar scheme being run around the northeast coast of Ireland.
He explained how the fishermen would take a sample of eggs and a notch from the tail of female lobsters and returning the lobster to the sea where it was caught.
Allowing the female to continue to breed for at least another three years helps to support the lobster population in the area and the DNA analysis of the v-notch and eggs allows researchers from Dr. Prodöhl ‘s team to analyse the lifecycle and track the distribution of the lobster population.
Blair Marnie, project manager for the West Islay Tidal project being developed by DP Marine Energy and DEME Blue Energy, visited Islay this week to provide a project update to the Islay Community Council. The project has a Crown Estate agreement for lease for a 30MW tidal array consisting of up to 30 tidal turbines in an area to the west of Portnahaven.
Studies of the seabed and tidal flow have confirmed that the area is an excellent energy resource. Detailed environmental survey work has been carried out over the last two years and has not highlighted any significant issues. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is nearing completion and the aim is to submit an application for consent to the Scottish Government by the end of the year.
Blair’s visit is being followed up with Public Information Days in Bowmore, Portnahaven and Port Ellen on the 25th and 26th of September. Organisation of these information days is being facilitated by Islay Energy Trust, to ensure that the local consultation is as wide-ranging and as locally relevant as possible. The West Islay Tidal project team will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have.
The details are as follows:
- Bowmore Hall, Tuesday 25th Sept, 2pm to 8pm
- Portnahaven, Rhinns Hall, Wednesday 26th Sept, 10am to 1pm
- Port Ellen, Columba Hall, Wednesday 26th Sept, 4pm to 8pm
Filmmaker Andy Crabb from the Songs of the Scottish Sea project spent two days on Islay working with eight S2 students from Islay High School. The students learned how to use the film gear before putting it into practice shooting scenes for a documentary on The Power of the Sea.
Islay is set to become a world focal point for marine renewables, with the Sound of Islay Tidal Array likely to be the first fully functioning array of tidal turbines in the world. The array will consist of 10 tidal turbines producing more electricity than is consumed each year by Islay and Jura.
Islay already has a history of marine renewable development and is the home of the prototype LIMPET (Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer). The world’s first commercial wave energy device is to be found on the rocky coastline of the Rhinns of Islay near Portnahaven at the southern tip of the island.
The students filmed the huge hulk of concrete that houses the device, set amongst the battered rocks of the Rhinns, and then went to talk to Mrs. Mary Merrall who lives in the croft next to the the device. She invited everyone in for tea and cake, and recounted tales of the building of the LIMPET – Tales of earth shaking dynamite blasting and the unearthly noise of the first prototype built in 1991 that could be heard a mile away in the village.
The young film crew also visited Port Askaig to talk to the Islay life boat crew about the power of the tide in the Sound, and then jumped aboard the ferry to Jura to experience a boat fighting its way across the very same tide that will soon be powering the turbines that will be on the seabed in the Sound.
Islay, an island of stunning beauty, deep history and world famous whisky is now at the very heart of the development of our future energy supplies.
Last weekend saw the start of a great summer of sport with the Islay Triathlon going from strength to strength in its 20th anniversary year. Saturday’s senior event was well attended with the men’s and women’s individual prizes going to Stephen Whiston and Hazel Manson from the Mid-Argyll Triathlon Club.
It was good to see some excellent performances from the younger entrants with Iain Harrison taking the best local individual prize and Katie Wood taking the fastest female runner award. The fastest female swimmer award was also kept on Islay with an exceptional swim from Lynzie McCuaig.
The me’sn team event was a local derby with the Bowmore Boys Connor Boyd, Grahame Bauld and David Rountree snatching victory from the Port Ellen Boys. The fastest women’s team was won with a strong performance by Ros Way, Hazel Whiston, Lorna MacGregor from Mid–Argyll and the fastest mixed team was won by John Hardie, Dave Payne and Rona Young. The junior team “Wavelength” with Romy Mitchell, Islay Mowat and Katie Wood won the junior team event with special congratulations to Romy for following this up by winning the individual prize at the junior event on
Active Schools ran the 5th Islay Schools Triathlon in partnership with Mactaggart Leisure Centre and with ScottishPower Renewables once again helping to sponsor the event. Children from P5 to S2 competed in the event either as mixed teams, girls teams or boys teams.
Well done to all competitors and thanks for making our 20th Anniversary a great day. Thanks also to all the volunteers who made the event possible, and to ScottishPower Renewables and Islay Energy Trust for their continued support. For more detailed results go to Islay Triathlon website.
The Marine Energy Group (Scotland’s Government and Industry forum for Marine Renewables) has published the latest version of the Marine Energy Action Plan.
The plan outlines progress made since the launch of the 2009 Marine Energy Road Map and makes recommendations to help improve access to finance, grid development, infrastructure and supply chain, the planning regime and engagement with Europe, to ensure Scotland and other nations seize the huge potential for clean energy from the world’s seas and oceans.
Progress in the marine energy sector since 2009, highlighted in today’s Action Plan, include:
- Exclusivity agreements to develop 1.6 GW of marine energy capacity off the north Scottish coast in the world’s first commercial wave and tidal leasing round
- Additional leasing opportunities (23 of 28 UK leased areas in Scotland) through demonstration sites and rounds to support competitors in £10 million Saltire Prize
- 11 pioneering wave and tidal devices deployed/in process of deployment at European Marine Energy Centre EMEC – the world’s first fully-accredited, grid-connected wave and tidal test facility – with a further three to deploy by 2014
- Significant industrial investments in developer technologies from major global power engineering conglomerates ABB, Alstom, Rolls Royce and Siemens.
- Consent for world’s largest consented tidal stream project, ScottishPower Renewables-Andritz Hydro Hammerfest 10-megawatt tidal stream project near Islay
- Opening of world’s first fully commercial wave power plant, Mutriku breakwater power plant in Spain, using Voith Hydro Wavegen’s Scottish technology, developed and demonstrated in grid-connected operation at LIMPET on Islay.
The Sound of Islay Tidal Energy project will use the HS1000 tidal turbine designed by ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest.
A single 1MW HS1000 was deployed and grid-connected in December 2011 at EMEC in Orkney. It has reached full export capacity during testing and is exporting power to the grid. ANDRITZ HYDRO have produced a short video explaining more about the device and how it operates.
The HS1000 Tidal Turbine video can be watched on YouTube.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, visited Islay this week. He met directors and staff from the Islay Energy Trust and visited the site of the Sound of Islay Tidal Energy Project.
Amongst topics under discussion were support for early tidal arrays, the benefits of community renewable projects and the shortage of grid capacity for renewable generation.
The Secretary of State also took time to visit the Islay Woolen Mill, Islay farmers, Bowmore Distillery, Dunlossit Estate and Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle.
The ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest HS1000 tidal turbine that was installed and connected to the grid last December has spent the last few months undergoing tests at the EMEC test site in Orkney.
The initial testing period has been very positive with the device achieving full export power.
The Energy, Economy and Tourism committee of the Scottish Parliament asked for evidence for its Inquiry into the Scottish Government’s Renewables Targets. Stressing the importance of the role of communities, The Islay Energy Trust has submitted a response asking for a further question to be considered by the committee:
“To what extent can communities contribute to and benefit from realising carbon savings/renewable energy targets?”
There are three reasons for posing this question, supported by IET’s experience on Islay.
- Talk of energy supply targets is meaningless without addressing the issue of potential reductions in energy consumption, which could make supply targets more achievable, or not as the case may be. Community action can play a significant role in helping reduce consumption.
- Community initiatives in developing renewable energy projects should not be ignored in the supply equation. Community Energy Scotland has already drawn the Committee’s attention to the contribution nationally that community-owned projects can make, and IET’s development of renewables projects is receiving widespread local support.
- Community support for larger scale renewable energy projects can facilitate the consenting process and add value to all stakeholders. However, such support can be difficult to harness without early and genuine local consultation, and comprehensive social impact assessments.
The full submission can be read here: 26 February 2012 – IET submission to Scottish Parliament Inquiry into Energy Targets
Islay Energy Trust’s third Renewables Day on 28th January drew a good crowd once again, all keen to find out more about how renewable technologies can benefit the average house, while also picking up a few tips on composting from Polly and indulging in delicious baking and snacks from the Islay High School Hospitality team. Following the recent cuts to Feed-in Tariff for solar PV, the emphasis this year switched away from harnessing the power of the sun to harnessing the potential of the heat pump, with particular interest in air-air heat pumps, which many are finding to be an efficient and affordable alternative to oil and electricity when it comes to heating the home. If you’d like more information on any renewable technology but weren’t able to attend on the day, please feel free to get in touch and we can supply a list of exhibitors.
The event is also a useful opportunity to keep everyone up to date with IET’s activities, and of course to gain new members, which won’t have escaped the notice of anyone trying to get into the hall without attracting the attention of Malcolm Ogilvie, our chief recruiter. Over 31 new membership forms were handed out on the day; most have found their way back to us, but if you still have yours then feel free to drop it into the office at any time. Our membership now stands at over 300, which helps to show good community engagement when we apply for funding support for projects.
Andy Macdonald gave a thorough and informative update on the Sound of Islay Tidal project, which is making good progress, and also on display was a selection of images from the recent visual assessment carried out for our single community wind turbine proposal near Castlehill. This project is still very much in the development stage as we are in negotiation over the ground lease, but Scottish Natural Heritage, as site owner, has very helpfully given us interim permission to carry out various studies to take full advantage of our current funding. This means that in addition to commissioning the visual assessment we have been able to apply for a grid connection for the project, and have recently submitted a planning application for a met mast on the site so that we can carry out the necessary wind speed assessments. We hope that this project, which would see the installation of one 330kW turbine, will one day earn a considerable income for the community – but there are a number of hurdles still to clear, not least that grid connection application.
The visual assessment has been a very interesting exercise, and it is encouraging to see how low-key the installation would be if it goes ahead. If you didn’t see the pictures on the day, they are available to see at our office in Main Street – please call in during office hours, all comments welcome.
Hammerfest Strøm has completed another key milestone after the successful installation of the 1MW HS1000 tidal turbine in one of the toughest waters in Europe at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. The installation was carried out during very challenging weather conditions. The device has been successfully synchronised to the grid and supplied power to the grid on the first attempt and during the first start-up.
Project Manager, Martin Sloan says:
“When we started out in this process the widely held view was that we had an operational window of approx. 6 months. With deployment of the HS1000 in some of the UK’s most hostile waters at what must be considered one of the worst operational deployment periods we have demonstrated that with the correct methodologies, skilled personnel and proper risk management the window is year round. The significance of this should go a long way to driving down the whole cost structure of tidal deployment by companies such as Hammerfest Strøm who can demonstrate they have the capability and technologies to work throughout the year.
The final phase of commissioning the onshore equipment is now well underway and it is anticipated that we will commence operational / load testing onto the grid later this month which then kicks off the data collection and engineering validation process, this process will continue over many months albeit tthe system is now configured to be operated remotely.”
For more details are available from the Hammerfest Strøm website.
Continuing uncertainty over the Government’s decision to cut the Feed-in Tariff for Solar PV has led to confusion among potential customers, as well as being pretty disastrous for the trade. Green Energy Net has two excellent articles on this which may help you decide whether it’s still for you and you’ll find them here:
If you’re still considering installing solar panels on your house, read both of these first – and in particular, pay attention to the recommendation that before considering any renewable technology, you should first do the easy and cheap stuff – insulation, draught-proofing and taking more care in how you use your heating and hot water system will help keep your bills down with very little effort. In future, it’s likely that adoption of such measures will be mandatory before Feed-in Tariff can be paid, and rightly so. Installing solar panels or a heat pump in a draughty, poorly insulated house makes no sense, either financially or in terms of carbon saving - which is, after all, what the Feed-in Tariff is all about.
The Islay Energy Trust (IET) needs to raise around £900,000 to fund a combination of renewable energy projects including wind, hydro, solar etc. Financial benefits to the community from these projects could total £100,000 each year in the first ten years and £200,000 each year after that. It is likely that IET will be able to raise approximately £600,000 from banks and it hopes to raise £300,000 from local investors.
Islay Community Energy Co-operative
IET has been discussing the establishment of a co-operative in which local people can invest. Each investor will become a member of the co-operative with a single vote, irrespective of sum invested. The co-operative would be governed by a board elected by the members. The co-operative would invest its funds in IET’s projects and would receive revenues from them.
Investment and Return
Individual investments could range from £100 to £20,000. Withdrawal of capital would be possible. Similar co-operatives have been paying out returns to investors of 5 – 8% p.a.
IET is conducting a survey to find out if there is interest in investing in an IET Energy Co-operative. We are very interested in your views and would appreciate if you could take part in the very short (three question) survey:
This is not an offer to invest
The plans for the 10MW Tidal Energy Project in the Sound of Islay took a significant step forward with the successful deployment of the Hammerfest Strøm HS1000 tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
The HS1000 tidal turbine has been developed by Hammerfest Strøm, a company partly-owned by Iberdrola (ScottishPower Renewables’s parent company), Andritz Hydro and Statoil New Energy. Seen as one of the world’s most advanced tidal turbine designs, a prototype device has been generating electricity in Norway for over 6 years.
Following its successful installation, the HS1000 device will now enter a test period to confirm its performance and reliability, in preparation for larger scale production and deployment. It is expected that the machine will be fully operational in early 2012. The tests will also help to finalise the timetable for the Islay project, with machines being installed as early as feasible during the period 2013 to 2015.
Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are delighted that the HS1000 turbine has been successfully installed in Orkney, and Hammerfest engineers deserve huge credit for carrying out this difficult operation in very testing weather conditions. We look forward to monitoring its progress when fully operational next year.
“This is a major milestone in the development of tidal power technology in Scotland, and for the tidal power industry across the world. We anticipate using this turbine as part of our project in Islay, which will be the first of its kind in the world, and remains the only consented tidal array project in Scotland. Beyond this, we have ambitions to use this turbine as part of even larger scale projects in the Pentland Firth, which we are currently investigating.
“The substructure for this device was constructed in the Arnish Yard, near Stornoway in Lewis, and we aim to work very closely with The Scottish Government to support their ambitions of delivering both economic and environmental benefits for Scotland from the marine renewables industry.”
The Managing Director of Hammerfest Strom, Stein Atle Andersen, said; “The device was installed in one of Europe’s most challenging waters, during the roughest time of the year, which shows the extreme conditions the technology and the team is capable of handling.”
Scotland is widely regarded as having the best tidal power resources anywhere in the world and the progression to demonstration projects is seen as a vital step towards fully realising this potential. The Islay project will play a key role in proving a range of factors necessary for the large scale deployment of the technology. This will include developing a better understanding of the technical aspects involved in deploying and maintaining machines and bringing forward systems to monitor and analyse their performance.
A report exploring the socio-economic impacts of the proposed offshore wind farms to the west of Islay, Tiree and Kintyre has been published. The report, commissioned by ARC members (Islay Energy Trust, Kintyre Energy Trust, South Kintyre Development Trust and Tiree Community Development Trust) from SQW, follows on from an initial scoping report (published in February 2010)
The broad purpose of this work was to assist local communities in engaging with developers and relevant authorities so as to strengthen the respective communities’ roles in the development of the projects and in the consenting process.
In summary, the report’s findings highlight the poor understanding of the planning consent process at community level and identify weaknesses vis-a-vis community engagement in the process. Evidence from other offshore wind farms indicates that local employment opportunities are more likely in the operations and maintenance phase rather than in construction and installation, that impacts on fishing, housing, tourism, seascapes, etc. are uncertain and require specific local assessment.
As part of the process of compiling the report, local community surveys were conducted. Responses and concerns about impacts – both positive and negative – varied between projects, but in general there was a broad appreciation of the potential issues and impacts, and an indication of willingness to engage in debate about the complex matters inherent in such projects.
The report recommends that communities and developers maintain close contact so that the former’s concerns are integrated into development plans, and that the Tiree scenario mapping exercise be monitored with a view to considering the value of replicating it elsewhere.
ARC members are grateful to LEADER, HIE, SNH, RSPB and ScottishPower Renewables for their financial support without which the study would not have been possible.
Marine Scotland have published their latest report Scoping Study for Offshore Wind Farm Development in Scottish Waters investigating the offshore wind plan options. This report includes the first discussion of development outside Scottish Territorial Waters (STW) to 200 nautical miles and also considers the medium term options (beyond 2020).
The report builds on the earlier report Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters (Blue Seas – Green Energy) using an improved (and more systematic) assessment process to consider current commercial activities such as fishing, environmental factors and other interests including recreational uses, visual and landscape impacts.
Whilst the previous report focused on the short term options up to 2020 within Scottish Territorial Waters (STW), the latest report extends this to include the area out to 200 nautical miles. Much of this area is deeper than 60m and will require improvements in technology so is considered in terms of longer term development.
The study is the first investigation of the wider area and longer term options for Offshore Wind around Scotland. It will be followed by the development of Regional Locational Guidelines for offshore wind development and this will then be followed by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
This is a long process that must involve wide consultation. The short term sites in the previous plan (West of Islay and West of Tiree) are still going through Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The new study is looking at areas for investigation beyond this and are unlikely to go ahead before 2020.
The areas identified for further investigation include a large area from the north of Islay to south of Barra. The report identifies this area as having a low to moderate levels of constraint and says that further detailed analysis of the area is required.
It is important to local communities that this process takes full account of the social and economic impacts to the region as well as the broader commercial and strategic benefits of these developments to Scotland as a whole.
Philip Maxwell, chair of the Islay Energy Trust gave evidence to the UK House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee Inquiry in to the Crown Estate. The committee is investigating the role of the Crown Estate and its relationship with the Scottish Parliament.
Giving oral evidence in support of IET’s written submission to the committee, Philip stressed the importance of local communities in the planning, operation and economic aspects of marine renewables. In particular, he reiterated that “proximate or affected communities should be confident of having some proportion of the revenues with surplus going back (to central government) instead of top down distribution.”
The huge potential benefits of a new electricity grid under the Irish Sea connecting power sources on Scottish, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland electricity networks have been highlighted in an exhaustive study published today.
The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) study, funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, has found that development of an interconnected transmission network within the decade would help drive further growth in the renewables sector, create jobs, generate revenues and ensure future sustainable energy supplies by better connecting and exporting electricity.
A copy of the report is available here:
This makes interesting reading against a backdrop of rising energy bills and increased fuel poverty. In particular the report notes:
“i. Recent increases in energy bills have been largely driven by rising international prices for fossil fuels, particularly gas, and not by energy and climate change policies….
iii. Wholesale gas and electricity costs represent around £600 (48%) of an average household energy bill (before any rebates) in the UK in 2011…..
iv. By contrast, Government policies are estimated to represent around £89 (7%) of an average household energy bill (before any rebates) in the UK in 2011…..
vi. By 2020 households will, on average, save £94 (7%) on their energy bills compared to what they would have paid in the absence of policies. The impact of policies in helping people to save energy, or use it more efficiently, is expected to more than offset the impact that policies delivering low carbon investment will have on energy prices;”
The Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons is conducting an inquiry in to the Crown Estate in Scotland.
The inquiry has taken written evidence and is now taking oral evidence. Philip Maxwell, the chair of the Islay Energy Trust is giving evidence at 2.30pm on Wednesday 23rd November.
Other evidence will come from:
Coverage can be seen on ParliamentTV.
ISLAY ENERGY TRUST
Annual General Meeting
There will be presentations on:
Sound of Islay Tidal Energy Project
Renewable Energy Projects
Islay Community Energy Partnership
21st November 2011
Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle, Bowmore, Islay
The Scottish Government has announced two initiatives that provide great news for the tidal energy industry.
Firstly, the Scottish Government has proposed to increase the number of renewable certificates (called ROCs) allocated to tidal energy generation from three to five per Megawatt hour.
Electricity suppliers are required to provide an increasing share of power from renewable sources. Different numbers of ROCs are awarded to different types of renewable energy generation. Suppliers can buy and then submit these ROCs to show that they have met their obligation.
The proposed increase to five ROCs for tidal stream energy is a significant boost and will encourage investment in the industry.
Secondly, an £18 million fund has been established to help develop Scotland’s first commercial wave and tidal power arrays. The money forms part of £35 million the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies will provide in direct support to the marine and tidal industry over the next three years and will be used to improve capability and infrastructure, as well as helping to fund technology solutions and the roll-out of marine arrays.
ScottishPower Renewables’ (SPR) tidal energy project in the Sound of Islay has been recognised by the Energy North Awards with the project winning the Best Offshore Renewables Award.
The Energy North Awards judges praised SPR’s extensive use of the Highlands and Islands supply chain from pre consenting, through to fabrication and highlighted that the project is significant in terms of technology and commercial scale, with massive export potential.
Alan Mortimer, ScottishPower Renewables Head of Renewables Policy, said: “This was really unexpected and we are extremely grateful for this award.
“The Highland and Islands could have a major role in the future of marine renewables and we have already seen that potential with the construction of the Hammerfest device substructure at Arnish.”
SPR was awarded consent for the world’s first commercial sized tidal project in March 2011 and are currently working towards beginning installation of the tidal turbines in 2013.
This project will utilise the 1MW Hammerfest device, with a machine due to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney before the end of the year, in preparation for the Islay project.