Friday, 3 September 2010

Renewable Advances

It is good to read in the Groat that encouraging progress is being made with redevelopment plans for Scrabster Harbour. The employment of a Halcro team as funding go-getters will speed the plans that have the approval in principal of SNP Ministers and public agencies.

Rob Gibson MSP with MORL project director Dan Finch
The need for these facilities to be ready for marine renewables and offshore wind construction, operation and maintenance was driven home to me by the launch of the scoping study by Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd. MORL. Though launched in Inverness it will tour many communities around the shores of the Firth. The road show visits to Wick on Tuesday 31st August from 12 noon to 8pm in Mackays Hotel. Helmsdale, Brora and Tain all the way to Peterhead follow on.

What makes this so important for all around the Firth? The firm MORL combines a Portuguese wind energy company EDP that is the third biggest in the world with SeaEnergy which installed the two test turbines beside the Beatrice platform.

Their plan is to build two hundred 5 to 8 mW wind towers in the Eastern bloc before 2020. It will take support from many surrounding harbours and facilities and create hundreds of jobs in the process. Not to forget that building the jackets will employ many more as the prospects for Nigg and Ardersier look up.

Many say that they’ll believe it when they see it. Why develop the far north when there are easy pickings in shallower seas? The Moray Firth wind towers will be in much deeper water than others and promise worldwide application. This time the North can’t afford to miss the boat.

Each power source compliments the other and the careful progress of MORL helps our ports such as Wick, where a survey boats sails to the grounds east of Beatrice, and our commercial port at Scrabster to seek their share of this work. These plans are underpinned by NRIP, the National Renewables Action Plan now in its third phase as produced for the Scottish Government by Scottish Enterprise and HIE.

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