Weekly update, 18th September
Energy & business services:
• The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm development will see the arrival next week of the first of two crew/ equipment transfer vessels to support the construction of the offshore infrastructure for BOWL. The catamaran vessels (Seacat Intrepid and Seacat Courageous) will be on a 2 year contract to BOWL from Seacat Services, with the first (Seacat Intrepid) due to arrive on 25th September. http://www.seacatservices.co.uk/news/
• Following the recent announcement of the second round of awards through the UK Government’s “Contracts for Difference” mechanism, in which Atlantis Resources Ltd was unsuccessful, Atlantis has this week announced its intention to enter into bilateral discussions with the department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) regarding a potential CfD award for its MeyGen project. The company’s immediate response to the CfD awards highlighted the difficulty in competing with more established technologies such as Offshore Wind, and CEO Tim Cornelius this week pointed out that the company would seek a “strike price” of £150 per megawatt hour – half of the price used in previous rounds, where tidal technologies were “ring-fenced” within the auction, demonstrating progress in cost reduction for this much less mature technology. http://renews.biz/108546/atlantis-eyes-meygen-cfd/ and http://www.scotsman.com/news/atlantis-to-seek-backing-to-extend-tidal-energy-project-1-4565866
• A reminder that CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)’s #hellodigital programme is bringing experts from the Google Digital Garage to Brora next week (on 26th September) with some hands-on demonstrations of digital technology such as 360º Cameras, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. At the event, which is open to all, you can also find out about current trends online and what’s coming next, as well as how businesses and organisations can keep pace with changes. To book a place see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-trends-whats-that-coming-over-the-hill-brora-sutherland-tickets-37272729738
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 was delighted to be invited to attend the NDA’s Stakeholder Summit in west Cumbria this week. Along with representatives of Dounreay Stakeholder Group and CNSRP I helped man an exhibition stand that presented a graphic summary of our progress and achievements, along with a look ahead to what we felt would be required to maintain our momentum over the coming years in meeting the economic challenge of Dounreay decommissioning. Scrabster Harbour Trust Chairman Tom Pottinger delivered one of the keynote presentations at the event, outlining the impacts that NDA support had brought to the harbour and the wider economy via a presentation that showed hugely impressive video footage of the harbour and the wider area. I was also able to deliver a short presentation on CNSRP during the event, and Caithness Chamber Chief Executive Trudy Morris gave an impassioned plea for more joined up support for our efforts during a closing session where she shared the platform with local Cumbrian MP Trudy Harrison. The event was the first opportunity for the new Chair and Chief Executive of the NDA to outline their respective views, and we were delighted to be able to get an opportunity to speak directly to both of them, as well as other senior NDA executives.
• CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland is currently recruiting a Careers Adviser for its Thurso office. This is a crucial role in the area economy, linking many of our economic aspirations with choices available to individuals. More information is at https://jobs.sds.co.uk/vacancy/careers-adviser-thurso-326948.html?_ga=2.99526494.190807526.1505987103-654026833.1487842217