Scottish Government announced today (Friday) a consultation on the ROC bands applying under the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) mechanism. ROC’s are seen by the renewables industry as an important support mechanism in the key early stages of developing renewables technologies. The key relevant highlight for our area is the proposal to increase the level of ROCs for tidal energy from 3 to 5 per MWhour from 1st April 2013, putting it on a par with wave energy. This could provide a major boost to the tidal sector at a key phase of its development. The consultation will run until January 13th 2012, and copies of the consultation document can be downloaded from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/10/20092837/0
The £4M community benefit fund established by the NDA as part of the construction of the Low-level Waste facility at Dounreay is being launched at Caithness Horizons, Thurso, at 7pm on Monday 24th October. The event is open to the public and CNSF Directors will be present. The aim of the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund (CNSF) is to increase the attractiveness of the area as a place to live, work and invest, with particular focus on supporting the delivery of environmental, social, cultural and infrastructural improvements. The Fund, which is managed by CNSF on behalf of the NDA, will have an initial £1M to invest in projects once work commences on the construction of the facility, with a further £300,000 added in 2014 and each year thereafter until 2023. The Fund will be open to applications from voluntary/ community organisations in the Dounreay travel-to-work area.
I am currently preparing papers etc for forthcoming meetings of the Partnership’s Executive and Advisory Boards. The Executive Board meeting will be the first attended by Nigel Lowe, the NDA’s new Head of Programme for Dounreay. I met Nigel this week in the company of NDA’s Anna MacConnell, to brief him on the Partnership’s structures, history and forward priorities. We also went on to discuss how best the NDA could continue to play an important role in CNSRP. The CNSRP Advisory Board meeting will include a presentation from the team at Scottish Power Renewables, who are currently working on plans for the tidal energy site at the Ness of Duncansby in the Pentland Firth.
The Partnership’s Delivery Group met this week and focussed on key current issues such as agreeing project-level priorities; developing a robust set of local marine energy actions and reviewing how we are communicating progress in delivering our priorities.
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: