Weekly update, 3rd – 17th July

Energy & business services:
• Atlantis Resources has reinstalled two of the four tidal turbines at its MeyGen project site in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The two remaining turbines in Phase 1A of this project are due to be reinstalled at the next suitable tide in August. http://renews.biz/107758/andritz-tidal-kit-back-at-meygen/
• Construction work continues both onshore and offshore for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project, with the project having now installed 50% of its turbine foundation piles. In total 86 clusters of four piles are to be installed, providing foundations for the 84 Siemens 7MW wind turbines and two Siemens Offshore Transformer Modules. The piles are being installed by the Seaway Heavy Lifting vessel “Stanislav Yudin”, in conjunction with a number of supporting vessels. The remainder of the piles are expected to be installed by the end of October. Meanwhile, the installation of the foundation piles is being undertaken ahead of the arrival and installation of the jacket substructures. This is expected to begin in August. Weather permitting, offshore construction is a 24/7 operation and will continue until the wind farm becomes fully operational by the end of 2019. Lead BOWL partner SSE has published a handy video summarising progress over the past year. http://sse.com/newsandviews/allarticles/2017/07/beatrice-offshore-wind-farm-update/

The Stanislav Yudin installing Beatrice turbine foundation piles, July 2017. Image by C Hadlow.

Enabling Activities:
• Caithness Chamber of Commerce is once again seeking nominations in two categories in its annual awards: Young Entrepreneur and Young Business. The Young Entrepreneur must be aged 18-30 (as of 31 December 2017), be based in Caithness or North Sutherland, and have or be about to start a business in the area. The Young Business (the owner of which has no age restriction) must be less than 5 years old as of 31 December 2017, and be based in Caithness & North Sutherland. Applications are available from david@caithnesschamber.com and submission deadline is Friday 11th August.

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:
• I gave a short presentation earlier this month to a group of young people starting their “Ready Steady Work” course. The initiative is coordinated annually by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd in partnership with North Highland College, local High Schools and local employers. It seeks to offer pupils in 4th, 5th and 6th year practical skills and information required to support moving into employment, and involved visits to local employers as well as workshop sessions on employability topics. I hope that my presentation gave participants a flavour for the areas of economic opportunity we see, both now and in the future.
• “Energy North” – the supplement published by Scottish Provincial Press – is now available to view online, and contains its usual mix of stories from the energy sector in the north. This issue contains an interview with Audrey MacIver, the new Director of Energy & Low Carbon at CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=66317e72-901b-4788-9776-ad708a9bf0b6