£4 million investment for marine renewables
Scottish businesses have today been awarded contracts worth £4 million by Hammerfest Strøm UK, a company jointly owned by Scottish Power Renewables and Norwegian energy companies.
Fife-based Burntisland Fabrication Limited (BiFab) has the main £2 million contract for the next stage of the development of one of the world's most advanced tidal turbines, Hammerfest Strøm's HS1000 device which will be installed in the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney next year.
Following testing at EMEC, Scottish Power Renewables hopes to deploy 10 HS1000 turbines in the Sound of Islay in 2013.
Scottish Power Renewables has also announced it is entering its Ness of Duncansby tidal farm in the Pentland Firth into the £10 million Saltire Prize for marine energy innovation.
First Minister Alex Salmond was in Oslo today for talks aimed at strengthening economic links between Scotland and Norway.
Mr Salmond said:
"I am delighted that Scottish businesses will benefit from the next stage of the development of one of the world's most advanced tidal turbines.
"With unrivalled energy resources off our coast and a range of wave, tidal and offshore wind development already underway, Scotland leads the way in generating power offshore.
"We have an estimated 25 per cent of Europe's offshore wind and tidal resource and 10 percent of its wave potential, a renewable energy resource which is unrivalled in Europe.
"Awarding £4 million of contracts to Scotland is a massive vote of confidence in the talent, expertise and infrastructure we have to support the development of a clean, green renewables future.
"This is another example of how the European Marine Energy Centre, our wave and tidal technical test centre in Orkney, is continuing to pay dividends through further overseas investment in Scotland.
"Scottish Power Renewables continues to lead the way in the development of offshore energy generation. The company's entry to the £10 million Saltire Prize demonstrates that one of the largest innovation prizes of its kind continues to generate global interest in the marine energy potential around our coast."
John Robertson, Bifab's Managing Director, said:
"We are delighted to be selected by Hammerfest Strom UK Ltd for the manufacture of the substructure for the new 1 MW tidal device. We are very impressed with the proactive approach of their management and engineering team. This is a very exciting product with great potential and we are pleased that the next phase of development will be manufactured here in Scotland at the BiFab Arnish facility in Stornoway.
"The I MW Tidal device will be complete early 2011, and we look forward to a long term relationship between our companies as Hammerfest Strom UK continues to grow from strength to strength.
"The renewables sector has the potential to create many employment opportunities, its products like this tidal device that will be key to the future of the manufacturing industry in Scotland, and the potential to create hundreds of jobs."
Keith Anderson, Managing Director of ScottishPower Renewables, said:
"ScottishPower Renewables is committed to leading the development of new renewable energy technologies in the UK, and we already have major projects planned utilising wave and tidal power. Following the deployment of the initial HS1000 machine in Orkney, SPR is planning to install ten of the machines in the Sound of Islay, which will be the first tidal power array of its kind in the world. Following on from this, we are also planning to install up to 95 tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth.
"We are delighted that Hammerfest Strøm has announced that it will be constructing the first HS1000 turbine in Scotland. We know that the company looked internationally to find the right levels of expertise to deliver this contract, so it is a major boost to Scotland's renewable energy industry and to the wider economy to see this new technology going in to construction in Stornoway. With our projects in Islay and the Pentland Firth also being developed, we hope that the announcement today is just the beginning of what could be a major stream of new opportunities for the renewables and manufacturing industries in Scotland."
A major international conference focused on maximising the multi-billion pound opportunities presented by renewable energy and other low carbon developments will be held in Scotland on September 28 and 29. Organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, the conference will provide a unique forum for Government, international finance, utilities and developers to engage directly on investment opportunities.