April 8, 2015
Smart energy solution
Community Energy Scotland have been wrestling with the conundrum of what to do in those parts of the country that have got more capacity to generate renewable energy than they can possibly use locally. When the potential exists to pass it on the national grid there’s money to be made and the rest of us all enjoy the green energy. But where grid connection is poor, other options need to be explored. In Orkney, an elegant solution devised by CES and their community partners involves hydrogen and ferries.
An innovative community renewables project in Orkney has received £1.35m from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund.
Orkney Surf ‘n’ Turf will combine electricity from 2 tidal turbines and a wind turbine on Eday, which often produce more power than can be used in the area. The excess electricity will be used to produce compressed hydrogen, which will be transported to Kirkwall, where a specially designed fuel cell will convert the hydrogen to electrical power for buildings and berthed ferries at the harbour.
This will not only reduce harbour costs, but will also bring new employment opportunities to local communities, as well as an additional source of revenue to be invested in local projects.
Surf ‘n’ Turf is the sixth project to be supported by the Local Energy Challenge Fund, which has already offered funding of over £20 million to initiatives that will reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities throughout the country.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“The Scottish Government is defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision; putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system; and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments.
“This project will have the only training facility in the UK with a programme to support the use of hydrogen in marine vessels. It will help Kirkwall harbour operate from a green energy source which will help reduce the costs.”
Mark Hull, Community Energy Scotland said:
“We are absolutely delighted with the news. This project reflects a huge amount of hard work, cooperation and community will and will be the start of making a real difference for energy use and benefit in Orkney.”
A second round on the Local Energy Challenge Fund has been launched and the Scottish Government are keen to the next wave of innovative projects come forward. Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland said:
“The Local Energy Challenge Fund is open to wide range of applicants and we look to communities and businesses in Scotland bringing forward there innovative local energy ideas”.
“Development support is available to help you take forward your projects and I would encourage Scottish businesses, universities, communities and third sector to find out more via www.localenergyscotland.org”