The head of Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre and a ground-breaking local authority were among those honoured at the 2013 Scottish Green Energy Awards ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland.
Fife Council – which has encouraged the construction of the world’s largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine in the coastal town of Methil – received the prestigious Public Sector Initiative Award at the ceremony, organised by Scottish Renewables and sponsored by RWE npower renewables.
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of the European Marine Energy Centre, picked up Outstanding Contribution to the industry for his work promoting wave and tidal energy and helping Orkney, where the centre is based, earn the nickname of ‘the Energy Islands’.
Others celebrating at the ceremony included FoundOcean, whose innovative offshore grout boosted the business from an income of zero to £12.9 million in just three years, and the locally-owned Neilston Community Wind Farm.
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive, 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 11th 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.”
Fife Council’s dedication to renewables as an economic recovery mechanism has extended from the authority’s Renewable Energy Routemap – a Scots first – to the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Methil, which is now home to a 7MW (megawatt) offshore test turbine developed by South Korean electronics giant Samsung.
The Neilston project, a 10MW, four-turbine wind farm in the East Renfrewshire town, is 28% owned by local people. Its operation will ensure a 20-year income stream to fulfil plans laid down in the community’s 2009 Town Charter.
FoundOcean’s spectacular success was sealed with the Scottish Green Energy Business Growth Award. The Livingston business shattered a monopoly by developing an alternative cement for offshore installations, driving the business to a 38% market share in 36 months and boosting staff numbers from 39 to 134 since January 2010.
Speaking after collecting his Outstanding Contribution award, Neil Kermode, Managing Director, European Marine Energy Centre, 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.
Diageo Scotland fought off stiff competition to win the Best Project Award for a scheme in Charlestown-of-Aberlour, Moray, which uses a bio-energy plant to produce energy from waste.
SSE’s Open4Business Highlands and Islands Portal was awarded the Contribution to Supply Chain Development Award for a procurement system which has attracted 800 businesses and awarded £2 million of contracts.
Scottish Energy Fergus Ewing MSP was named Best Politician for his commitment to renewables, fending off a challenge from his UK counterpart Ed Davey to scoop the award.
A new award, in honour of the late solar pioneer Kerr MacGregor, was won by Glasgow company John Gilbert Architects for their work on the Duneland Ecovillage co-housing cluster in Findhorn, Moray, which delivers affordable heat through solar and heat pump technologies.
Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership – whose installation of 1,100 air-source heat pumps is the largest renewables commitment from any social landlord in Scotland – won the Contribution to Sustainable Development Award for their efforts.
C-Speed’s LightWave Radar won the Best Innovation Award for overcoming challenges around radar systems and wind farms, and Energy Skills Partnership took home the hotly-contested Contribution to Skills & Training Award for, among other things, their work with the nascent Wind and Marine Training Network.
If your company, council or organisation is pioneering renewable energy projects, make sure you let the world know about it by telling Scottish Energy News.