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MeyGen project operators scoop virtual Scottish Green Energy Award

By Jean Gunn

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Local councillors were told about the plans to upgrade the MeyGen project earlier this year.
Local councillors were told about the plans to upgrade the MeyGen project earlier this year.

Work on the expansion of the MeyGen tidal project in the Pentland Firth helped SIMEC Atlantis Energy secure this year's national Champion of Renewables Award.

The Scottish Green Energy Awards, which normally take place in Edinburgh, were held on Thursday night (November 26) as a virtual online event for the first time ever.

SIMEC secured the award for its ongoing drive to create a sustainable tidal industry in Scotland along with its work on the pioneering MeyGen energy project which will deliver the world’s first 86MW tidal array.

More than 800 people tuned in to the broadcast-quality live awards show which saw winners in 13 categories receive recognition for their work in the sector, which employs 17,700 people.

The winners were selected by a panel of 12 judges from a shortlist of 46.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to come together online as an industry to celebrate this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards.

“Once again, those shortlisted really do showcase the truly incredible talent, passion and innovation of those working in our industry. In a year which has been so very challenging, the renewable energy sector has played a critical role in ensuring that Scotland’s lights have been kept on throughout the global pandemic.

“The diverse range of projects shortlisted at this year’s awards really do highlight why Scotland is a world leader in renewable energy. As we continue the fight against climate change we’re going to need everyone and everything we’ve got, and the phenomenal skillset and innovation of those recognised tonight absolutely shows we have what it takes.

“The Scottish Green Energy Awards are an incredible celebration of the inspirational organisations, people and projects who are making a real difference to the health, wealth and wellbeing of Scotland. My congratulations go to all off this year’s nominees, and of course winners."

The 2020 Scottish Green Energy Awards was headline-sponsored by EDF Renewables.

EDF Renewables’ CEO Matthieu Hue said: “It has been great to see everyone online for this year’s awards and my congratulations goes to all the very worthy winners and of course the runners up, I’m sure the judges had some tough choices to make.

“It has been a tough year for everyone yet as an industry it is clear we are continuing to work hard to progress towards the net zero goal. Let’s hope by this time next year we can all celebrate another successful year in person.”

An underwater robot which is changing the game for offshore subsea inspection processes secured the Best Innovation Award for Rovco. SubSLAM X2, is a data collection system which allows onshore engineers to work under the waves from the comfort of their offices.

Heat Smart Orkney Ltd was announced as the winner of the Best Community Project Award for the Heat Smart Orkney project, which is helping to alleviate fuel poverty by using excess electricity from community-owned wind to provide affordable heat for the community.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, one of the country’s largest and longest-standing rewilding projects, was crowned the Sustainable Development Award winner for its commitment to reducing carbon emissions by growing food in a hydro-powered aquaponics vegetable garden.

Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, gave a keynote address highlighting the role renewable energy will play in the country's green recovery and David Duguid MP, UK Government Minister for Scotland, presented the Sustainable Development Award.

Related stories:

Councillors praise MeyGen role in making Caithness 'the Energy County'

'Exciting new steps' for Caithness tidal energy project

MeyGen results show tidal energy project has exported more than 30 gigawatt hours of electricity

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