Senior figures in the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership have given a warm welcome to this week’s news that the final 4 companies bidding to win the Scottish Government’s Saltire prize have been chosen, and that 3 of the 4 sites to be used are located off the coasts of Caithness and North Sutherland.
The announcement, made by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at an event in Orkney, highlighted tidal power sites off the Caithness coast (Meygen in the Inner Sound and Scottish Power Renewables at the Ness of Duncansby) and a wave power site off the North Sutherland coast (Pelamis Wave Power at Farr Point). Aquamarine Power will use a wave power site off the coast of Lewis.
The £10 million Prize will be won “by the team that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output in Scottish waters over the minimum hurdle of 100GWh over a continuous two-year period, using only the power of the sea.”
CNSRP Executive Board Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver said: “This announcement is good news for the development of the wave and tidal industry as a whole as it continues to move towards commercial-scale viability. The economy of the north is changing, and our aspiration is to be able to attract employment opportunities related to the development, operation and maintenance of marine energy devices. The investments CNSRP partners have made and continue to make in businesses, skills and infrastructure are beginning to pay off as we see the energy sector continue to grow. This is further evidence that our area is indeed the right place at the right time, with the right people.
CNSRP Advisory Board Chairman Cllr Drew Hendry said: “I have been struck by the range and quality of work being delivered in the north, and by the commitment of public and private sector partners to the economic transition process taking place in the area. The Saltire Prize is an internationally-acclaimed competition that reinforces Scotland’s position at the leading edge of marine energy development. With 3 of the 4 sites in the competition being so close to our coasts it further emphasises the opportunities for local economic benefit. I look forward to carrying on the already-productive relationships developed with the companies involved in the competition.”
Eann Sinclair, CNSRP Programme Manager