ScottishPower Renewablesâ€™ (SPR) tidal energy project in the Sound of Islay has been recognised by the Energy North Awards with the project winning the Best Offshore Renewables Award. The Energy North Awards judges praised SPRâ€™s extensive use of the Highlands and Islands supply chain from pre-consenting, through to fabrication and highlighted that the project is significant in terms of technology and commercial scale, with massive export potential. Andy Macdonald, Islay Energy Trustâ€™s Tidal Energy Project Officer said, "This award is recognition of all the hard work carried out by the whole project team, which led to consent being given for the project. This is a strong praise for all of the local input that ranged from ornithology, archaeology through to marine support work. It puts Islay firmly on the marine renewables map.â€
The Crown Estate announced yesterday that agreements for five sites in Scottish waters have now been reached. As well as Inch Cape in the Tay Estuary and Neart na Gaoithe off Fife Ness, leases have also been agreed for Argyll Array and Islay on the West coast and Beatrice in the Moray Firth. The five sites could generate 5GW of electricity. The plans for a windfarm near the west coast of Islay were presented in 2009.
Islay Ferry: The CalMac Timetable changed from summer to winter mode on Sunday 23rd October. Further amendments to the timetable are possible during the period between 12th November and 3rd December due to ship maintenance schedules. Please check times before travelling. From the start of the winter timetable, CalMac will be running a return Saturday service to Colonsay and Oban for nine weeks. Commenting on the new service, Cllr. Currie said, "I very much welcome this new service which gives people from Islay the opportunity to do business in Oban during the nearly three hours that the boat lies there or spend a day on Colonsay. More importantly is that this service will give Colonsay an extra service to the three sailings per week that it currently gets in the winter." This nine week pilot service will run from 29th October till 24th December.