Winners ‘perfectly demonstrate the vital contribution young professionals are making to the success of renewable energy’
A project manager from an independent Scottish renewable energy company is the first recipient of the Pioneer Award at the inaugural Scottish Renewables Young Professionals Green Energy Awards.
Peter Marshall of Muirhall Energy in South Lanarkshire was among 11 winners at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow last night (May 28).
Sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Pioneer Award recognises an individual who has challenged convention with new project ideas or methods and who is leading the way in the industry.
Peter has been responsible for securing development sites, planning consents and grid connections for several projects on behalf of Muirhall Energy. A qualified surveyor and planner with a sheep and cattle farming background, he has direct experience in designing wind projects to work alongside the existing interests of landowners and land managers.
Rona Campbell of HIE’s Energy Team helped judge the awards. She commented: “This is a very special year for HIE as we celebrate 50 years of the agency and its predecessor, the Highlands and Islands Development Board. Over that time, we have led the way in supporting the development of new and emerging technologies across the energy industry. It is for this reason that this year we have sponsored the Pioneer Award and Peter Marshall is an extremely deserving winner.“
Jillian McKenna, Director of Marketing at Scottish Renewables, said: “We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of entries to the awards, which are in their first year.
“Our winners perfectly demonstrate the vital contribution young professionals are making to the success of renewable energy. People like Dr Eve Bird show how academia plays such a huge role in what is still a young industry, while talented lawyers and consultants like Stephanie Mill and Vijay Bhopal, who won the Professional and Entrepreneur Awards respectively, shows how crucial professional support is to ensuring the success of projects.”
The full list of winners is:
• Achiever Award: Dr Eve Bird, Celtic Renewables
• Academic Award: Sandya Abrar, University of Edinburgh
• Campaigner Award: Gail Watt and Rajini Sokhi, Women in Renewable Energy Scotland
• Entrepreneur Award: Vijay Bhopal, Scene Consulting
• Innovator Award: Joe Berrisford, ScottishPower Renewbales
• Leader Award: Úna Brosnan, Atkins Offshore Renewables
• Pioneer Award: Peter Marshall, Muirhall Energy
• Professional Award: Stephanie Mill, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
• Judges Award: Jackie Sayer, Highland Council
A Judges Award, for which nominations were not accepted, was given to Highland Council engineer Jackie Sayer - who was also nominated for the Pioneer Award. Jackie’s pioneering and far-sighted approach to the provision of biomass heating solutions to people in the Highlands has resulted in significant carbon reductions, as well as plaudits for her employer.
Scottish Renewables’ Jillian McKenna added: “The judges felt that Jackie’s role in bringing new skills, jobs and affordable warmth to the Highlands by providing practical renewable heating alternatives to people living there was particularly worthy of merit.
“Often the success of a project depends on the commitment of just one person, and the judges wanted to recognise Jackie for, as her managers said, her ‘persistence, encouragement, pioneering approach and significant leadership’.”