The nascent Viking Energy windfarm is among the developments being used to promote the isles as a centre of excellence in energy at a major conference this week.
A 20-page magazine, Power from the North, produced by marketing organisation Promote Shetland, will be distributed at the All-Energy conference and exhibition in Aberdeen.
It aims to show prospective investors the “vast potential and experience available in the islands in all aspects of the energy industry”.
The controversial windfarm received consent from the Scottish government last month and work has already begun on the pre-construction phase.
If Shetland Charitable Trust approves the next round of interim funding of £6.3 million, and ultimately decides to invest in the multi-million pound project, it will net the charity a projected £23 million-a-year. If the trust decides to sell its share, partner Scottish and Southern Energy has vowed to proceed on its own.
The magazine states: “The go-ahead for Viking is not just confirmation of the islands’ potential but will mean the long-awaited interconnector between Shetland and the Scottish mainland will go ahead. The 600 megawatt subsea power cable should be in place by 2016 and truly releases the potential of Shetland as a renewable energy powerhouse.”
Andy Steven of Promote Shetland said: “Shetland’s world-wide reputation for wildlife and splendid, unpolluted scenery is matched by the vast range of industrial abilities available here and the huge potential in both producing renewable energy and servicing the existing oil and gas activities. Not to mention the enormous market that’s opening up in decommissioning.
“We have the nearest UK decomissioning sites to the North Sea and Atlantic fields, the biggest potential when it comes to renewables, and we are going to be securely connected to the UK mainland for both power generation and telecoms. We need to tell this story with confidence and verve.”
Apart from the windfarm, the oil industry in general and the Laggan-Tormore project and BP’s massive investment in particular are highlighted, as are the ancillary engineering and associated service companies in the isles.
Last week’s announcement of the £10 million Scottish government investment in establishing a deepwater decommissioning base at Dales Voe is also featured.
Meanwhile, Highlands and Islands Enterprise board member Steve Thomson will tell the conference the Scottish islands are leading the renewable energy revolution.
In a presentation tomorrow he will say: “Our island communities are known for their resourcefulness, innovative ideas and creativity. They have a history of energy developments – back to the peak of the oil and gas industry across Scotland and they are now leading the way with renewables and new types of energy generation.”
Originally from Falkirk, Mr Thomson moved to Tiree with his family after falling in love with life in the island. He joined HIE’s board in 2008 and is involved in a number of community ventures including Tiree Community Broadband, Tiree Renewable Energy Limited and Our Power based in Cairndow – run by local charity Here We Are.
The event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre has attracted delegates from across the globe, with over 580 exhibitors from over 20 countries and 300-plus speakers.
The Promote Shetland magazine is available online at www.shetland.org/energy