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Realising the Potential of Hebridean Renewables

13 June 2012

Trade Body to discuss opportunities at Lewis event

Leading trade body, Energy North, will be providing businesses and prospective inward investors with the opportunity to hear the latest on the region's renewable energy potential at a free event organised in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The event is set to take place next Friday, 22 June, at the Borve Country House Hotel, the Isle of Lewis.

In recognition of the growth experienced by the local industry and its supply chain, the day will feature an address by Fergus Ewing, Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism. The event will cover topical matters including research and skills, grid connectivity, supply chain readiness, community renewables and environmental consent.

Ian Couper, chief executive of Energy North, said: "We would like to welcome all businesses with an interest in the north of Scotland to attend this event. The potential for the Western Isles' energy sector is tremendous, and the event will allow forward thinking businesses to hear about the latest developments and opportunities.

"We hope that by showcasing some of the projects which are already live in the Outer Hebrides and beyond, we can help establish a strong supply which will in turn harness the renewable power at the finger tips of some of Scotland's most remote communities."

"We're very keen to open up this event beyond our existing members. The Outer Hebrides are surrounded by some of the richest renewable energy resources in the world. As the name of the event would suggest, we're keen to highlight the wealth of opportunities to both local businesses and those who may be interested in investing in renewables in the north of Scotland."

The event will form part of a two-day conference. The Outer Hebrides Renewables Group will meet on the 21 June followed by a 'Meet the Buyer' event and networking dinner.

'Realising the Potential' will commence the following day, 22 June, and will close with a series of organised site visits, enabling delegates to see for themselves the opportunities being pursued in the region.

Businesses represented in the event programme include, Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture between AMEC and EDF Energy, Voith Hydro Wavegen from Inverness, Pelamis, whose current projects include an installation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and Aquamarine Power, owner of Lewis Wave Power Limited.

Calum Davidson, HIE Director, Energy and Low Carbon who will address the conference, said "A number of on-shore wind and marine energy developments are at a key stage across the Western Isles, with a number of private and community based projects reaching delivery stage over the next year. The energy sector has the potential to create and sustain employment, whilst helping to support economic development in some of our most remote and rural communities."

Angus Campbell, Leader, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: "Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is delighted to be working with Energy North and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to organise this important conference."

"The most important theme will be the supply chain benefits arising from a thriving Hebridean renewable energy industry. From fabrication at Arnish Point and research at Lews Castle College to wider benefits throughout the entire supply chain, renewable energy development has the potential to transform our fragile island economy.

"The time is now right for developers to engage with the local supply chain to ensure that as many of the benefits of Renewable Energy as possible are captured for the Western Isles. I would urge developers, regulators and supply chain interests to make full use of the unique opportunity presented by this Conference".


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