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New energy for Orkney marine renewables centre

26 February 2014

Two prominent figures in the energy industry have been appointed to the Board of Europe’s leading marine energy testing facility.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in Orkney, is the first and only centre of its kind in the world to provide developers of both wave and tidal energy converters – technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams – with purpose-built, grid connected and independently accredited open-sea testing facilities.

Two new Non-Executive Directors have now been appointed to its Board, each bringing a wide range of skills and experience from private sector enterprises.

Andrew Mill was the first Managing Director of EMEC from 2003 to 2005. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the National Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) in Blyth, Northumberland.

Mr Mill is joining the board from March 2014 as Chairman Designate, with a view to assuming the role when Bill Edgar CBE steps down later this year, after serving as Chairman since 2005.

Mr Mill is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineers and Technologists and Energy Institute and is Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde. His background is firmly within the Energy industry, with over 30 years experience in energy companies.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Mill said: “EMEC is at the forefront of marine renewable technology testing and I am delighted to be joining the board as Chairman Designate as we continue to drive innovation in this sector”.

Ron Chapman will also join the Board as a Non Executive Director from March, replacing Hugh MacNab who stood down last year. Mr Chapman is a Civil Engineer and is currently the Chairman of the Water Research Centre, based near Swindon, Wiltshire. Mr Chapman has had a distinguished career within the energy industry having held a number of senior posts within the Scottish Power and National Grid Groups and is currently a member of the Gas Network Innovation Competition Expert Panel. He has strong connections to the Caithness area.

Mr Chapman commented “I am delighted to be joining EMEC as I was born and raised in the Far North and want to use my experience to help create jobs in the area’

Graeme Harrison, HIE’s Area Manager for Orkney, commented: “This is an exciting time for EMEC with the ongoing developments in wave and tidal technology and testing and to have two such respected and prominent experts joining the Board is extremely encouraging.  Both Ron and Andrew offer extensive knowledge of the UK and international energy industries and this will prove invaluable as marine energy technology developments progress.  Orkney is already leading the world in the testing of wave and tidal technologies and the EMEC Board will continue to drive its development to ensure continued growth to meet the needs of the sector.”

EMEC was established in 2003 to support the advancement of marine energy technologies and operates independently accredited test sites for wave and tidal energy converters in the waters off Orkney.  The centre has received around £35 million of funding from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust, the UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, the European Union and Orkney Islands Council.


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