Weekly Update, 16th April 2012

Energy:
CNSRP’s Advisory Board agreed a joint working arrangement with Scottish Power Renewables (SPR), who were awarded the lease to develop a tidal power scheme at the Ness of Duncansby at the east end of the Pentland Firth. An initial meeting between SPR and local representatives took place this week, with terms of reference discussed and agreed. SPR welcomes the approach offered by the Partnership, where they can talk to a range of stakeholders round one table rather than having to conduct separate discussions with a number of bodies. SPR has agreed to share project timelines with us, and to provide regular intelligence on its activities with technology developer Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (formerly Hammerfest Strom). Information on local supply chain capabilities will be shared (via Richard Hunt, SPR’s Caithness-based liaison) and we will be able to gain a better understanding of the procurement strategies being used. We will meet on a quarterly basis over the next two years as their initial array at Islay is developed and consented.

A major international conference on the Environmental Impact of Marine Renewable devices is being held in Orkney from 1st-4th May. As part of the conference Energy North has worked with Caithness Chamber, the ERI, HIE, Highland Council and Orkney Islands Council on a one-day event on Thursday 3rd May entitled “Business Opportunities with Academia”. The academic sector is a significant purchaser of goods and services in the renewables sector, and an international audience represents a good opportunity for companies to make contacts. Places at the event (and the associated dinner in Kirkwall on the evening of 3rd May) can be booked at http://www.energynorth.co.uk/Events/Business-Opportunities-with-Academia.aspx

Communications:
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP’s partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:

  • The Partnership’s Delivery Group met this week, and discussed progress with the pipeline of priority projects identified late last year. We agreed those areas where further interventions would be required, and will pursue these over the coming weeks.
  • The Partnership’s Executive Board meets next week, and I spent time this week with CNSRP’s Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver preparing for that meeting. Members will hear a presentation from Roger Hardy on the new PBO/ Dounreay management team’s approach to the economic and socio-economic impacts of the site decommissioning programme. This will be the Partnership’s first formal opportunity to speak directly to Roger in his new role as Managing Director of the site license company. I also spoke this week to Nigel Lowe, NDA’s Head of Programme for Dounreay, who will update members on the NDA’s current and future socio-economic activities. At the same meeting I will update members on the study commissioned by HIE and DSRL into “the Socio-economic Impacts of Dounreay Decommissioning” which has now reached a final stage.