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Success for key players from the Highlands and Islands at the Scottish Green Energy Awards

06 December 2013

Neil Kermode, Managing Director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, has been honoured for his leadership and commitment to the renewable energy industry.

Mr Kermode was awarded the accolade for most Outstanding Contribution at the Scottish Green Energy Awards, held in Edinburgh last night (Thursday 5th December ).

Established in 2003, EMEC is the world's only grid connected, independently accredited test facility for wave and tidal energy devices, with developers carrying out tests on this emerging technology. Neil Kermode has been at the helm of EMEC since 2005, increasing the staff from 4 to 24 and expanding the testing facilities to support the increasing demands of businesses in the sector.

The award, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was presented by Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at HIE. Calum Davidson said:

“Neil Kermode’s contribution to the marine energy sector should not be underestimated. He has developed the world’s leading marine energy testing centre and is a true pioneer in the renewable energy sector. He is a worthy winner of the outstanding contribution award and a powerful advocate for EMEC across the world. A chartered engineer, Neil’s work has firmly established Orkney as a centre of expertise in the renewables industry. It is a terrific accolade for him and his team as EMEC celebrates its tenth anniversary.”

Speaking after he received his award, Neil Kermode said:

“What is happening in marine renewables in Orkney really is special, and just goes to show what can happen with vision, determination and a total belief that you are right.

“I'm delighted to receive this award – it means a lot to me.”

It was also a successful night for businesses in the Highlands and Islands, with many making the short list across a number of categories. Crossing the finishing line as winner in the Contribution to Supply Chain Development Category was SSE Open4Business Highlands and Islands Portal. And Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism won the Best Politician Category for his contribution to renewable energy.

Also receiving recognition was Wind Towers Scotland Ltd, commended in the business growth category. The company, based at Machrihanish near Campbeltown, produces wind turbine towers and employs 130 people in the Mull of Kintyre area.

Last night’s ceremony was the 12th annual Scottish Green Energy Awards, started by Scottish Renewables as a showcase for the people and companies in the sector.

Niall Stewart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said:

“The story of renewables in Scotland is one of which everyone in the country should be proud. The industry’s output has more than doubled in five years – we’re a country which is leading the way with skills and technology, and we have a whole clutch of European and world firsts, from Orkney and Lewis to Ayrshire and Fife.

“Everyone at the Scottish Green Energy Awards is part of that story. Without their work, often pushing the boundaries internationally as well as here in Scotland, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and it is because of that that I congratulate not only our winners, but every single one of the 175 nominations we received this year.”

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