Weekly update, 12th September

Energy & Business Services:
• Representatives from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium were in Wick this week to formally unveil plans to transform two historic buildings at Wick harbour into the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. The drop-in event was very busy with interested members of the public (estimated at around 150), and the comments I heard in the room were overwhelmingly positive.

A busy event for the BOWL team in Wick, 14/09/16

A busy event for the BOWL team in Wick, 14/09/16

Proposed O&M base for the BOWL project at Wick harbour

Proposed O&M base for the BOWL project at Wick harbour

A planning application for the plans was submitted to CNSRP partner Highland Council this week. In the next few days the display materials from the event will be posted to the Beatrice webpages at http://sse.com/whatwedo/ourprojectsandassets/renewables/Beatrice/
• I mentioned last week that recruitment has now started for staff who will take forward the operations and maintenance of the BOWL project, with lead partner SSE advertising the posts of Contract Lead https://hijobs.net/job/42702/contract-lead-beatricedeadline today, 16th September 2016), Asset Engineer (https://hijobs.net/job/42701/asset-engineer-beatrice – deadline 16th September 2017) and Operations Engineer (https://hijobs.net/job/42700/operations-engineer-beatrice – deadline 16th August 2017) . These are the first publicly advertised positions to become available, and over the coming 12 months the recruitment of O&M personnel will ramp up. At the time they confirmed that Wick would be the O&M base for the project SSE estimated they would create around 90 direct full-time jobs in Wick.
• Continuing a positive week for north energy projects, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP was at the Nigg Energy Park this week to officially launch the MeyGen tidal energy project’s first turbines.

Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius & First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, 14/09/16

Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius & First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, 14/09/16

It was great to be present with June Love of DSRL and Fiona Levack of Caithness Chamber of Commerce to hear the First Minister highlight this as an important milestone not only for the north, but for Scotland, the UK and the wider tidal energy sector. Atlantis Resources Ltd’s Chief Executive Tim Cornelius and Chairman John Neill were on hand at the quayside in Nigg to show the sheer scale of one turbine and its base before the devices are shipped north to the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth for installation over the coming weeks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-37321639 The jack-up barge that will install the devices arrived at Nigg yesterday (Thursday).
Andritz turbine and base, Nigg, 14/09/16

Andritz turbine and base, Nigg, 14/09/16

Enabling activities:
• I was delighted this week to take part in Education Scotland’s review of the work of CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in the area of Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance. Two ES representatives met with a group of local bodies, and then observed one of the CNSRP Delivery Group meetings, on which SDS Team Leader Alistair Ferrier sits. I hope that we were able to convey that one of our key strengths in the north is our ability to work together across agency boundaries, as well as across public, private and third sector boundaries, to achieve progress in our goals.

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:
• Wick High School’s success in technology development continues to impress, with the girls from team QuancoBot winning the “university challenge” competition organised by the Computing Science and Digital Media department at Robert Gordon University. The team’s brilliantly-executed idea of a mobile robot relaying video at rugby matches had already received awards at the Apps for Good competition finals held in London. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1023318/youngsters-from-wick-named-as-winners-of-rgu-computer-competition/