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Also in the news / Terminal transition, wellbeing fund, Viking investment, turbine blade recycling, community benefit and more…

Sunrise over Sullom Voe Terminal, which is operated by EnQuest. Photo: Courtesy of BP

THE OPERATOR of Sullom Voe Terminal has confirmed it has begun assessing potential new energy opportunities at the Shetland facility.

In a rare update from EnQuest on its future plans for the terminal, chief executive Amjad Bseisu said the facility had been performing strongly “with 100 per cent export service availability”.

Bseisu added that as an active member of the ORION clean energy project, EnQuest was collaborating closely with the council and terminal partners to develop a sustainable energy hub for Shetland.

“The group has begun assessing potential new energy opportunities at the Sullom Voe Terminal to strengthen and extend the life of this asset and has held constructive initial engagement with a variety of stakeholders, including potential technical and financial partners,” he said.

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland (VAS) has today (Friday) launched the Communities Health and Wellbeing Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

It will support initiatives which promote mental health and wellbeing at a small scale, grass roots, community level throughout Shetland.

The fund – which offers up to £5,000 per grant – will be accessible to new and existing groups, no matter how small or inexperienced they are.

Two events will also be held in the coming days to provide more information about the fund. More details can be found here. 

SSE invested around £57.3 million in the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm between the end of March and the end of September.

The figure is included in the developer’s interim results.

SSE’s capital expenditure on the wind farm is estimated to be around £580 million.

Construction work on the wind farm began last year, and turbines are due to be installed in early 2023.

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A PROJECT to develop wind turbine blade recycling in Britain for the first time has been given £2 million of funding from the UK Government.

The pilot has been set up to commercialise a method developed by Strathclyde University to separate the glass fibre and resin components from disused wind turbine blades with the aim to re-use the glass fibre components in other industries such as the motor trade or the construction industry.

The project is led by Aker Offshore Wind, trade body Composites UK and the lightweight manufacturing centre at the University of Strathclyde.

Presently, when turbine blades reach the end of their working lives, they are either sent to landfill or to a waste-to-energy plant for combustion.

An Aker spokesperson said that the environmental benefits from this project could not be understated as waste from wind turbine blades alone are expected to reach around two million tonnes globally by 2050.

COUNCILLORS in Orkney are to consider a policy which would ask offshore wind developers to provide £5,000 per megawatt installed per year in community benefit, where the development is in waters near Orkney.

The policy, to be considered at next week’s meeting of the OIC’s policy and resources committee, has been developed in line with the Scottish Government’s ambition for 11 gigawatts of offshore wind to be installed by 2030.

The report to councillors states that the outcome of the ScotWind leasing round could see the award contract agreements that result in up to three gigawatts of offshore wind near Orkney.

In the proposed policy, the council states that it would expect all developers of commercial offshore renewable energy projects in Orkney waters to commit to providing community benefit.

It comes as the prospect of community benefits from offshore wind is also due to be raised at Shetland Islands Council meetings next week.

Councillors will be asked to approve a plan for the SIC to “pursue the council and Shetland interests through engagement with other key parties in future developments, and in securing of community benefits from those”.

A report to members also calls for the extension of the 12-mile cut off point for payment of seabed rents to Crown Estate Scotland.

There are proposals for a number of floating offshore wind farm in the waters around Shetland including the £10 billion Cerulean vision and the recent announcement by Aker Offshore Wind confirming it is looking into creating a 10GW floating wind farm to the north of Shetland.

The management team behind the Cerulean proposal has already been in touch with the Shetland Community Benefit Fund.

JOLENE Garriock of Island Vista has been elected as the new chairperson of Shetland Tourism Association, the representative body of the local tourism sector.

She follows into the footsteps of Emma Miller who stepped down after four years in the post.

Miller has recently been appointed as the project manager for the Lerwick Tall Ships event which is taking place in the summer of 2023.

Thanking Miller for her contribution over recent years Garriock said: “Emma has turned the association around and laid the groundwork for us to become a much more dynamic force for change and development in our sector.

“I am sure we all want to express our heartfelt thanks to her. I am delighted to take on the role of chair but am very much aware that I have some big shoes to fill.”

The SNP’s Highlands and Islands list MSP Emma Roddick is the youngest member of the Scottish Parliament.

HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has suggested that some of the money previously earmarked for prime minister Boris Johnson’s “ill-fated plan” to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland should be used to provide fixed links in the isles.

The SNP MSP believes the £20 billion cost of the bridge could be reallocated to projects in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“If Mr Johnson wants to connect some islands, he could start with ones where it is actually possible,” she said.

“Half of Shetland [Islands Council]’s emissions come from the inter-island ferry network. Getting to net zero could be dramatically accelerated by the creation of tunnels that could replace some of these ferries and allow for bus travel between islands.

“The ‘Boris Bridge’ was going to cost £20 billion. If this funding were reallocated on a pro-rata basis to Scotland and Northern Ireland, Shetland could receive over £62m in transport funds.”

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