The prospects for Orkney to establish a new centre of excellence
We were delighted that over 40 people attended the OREF meeting on 10th November to explore the opportunities for Orkney to become established as a global centre for energy storage. The need for the meeting had arisen from the ongoing challenges that Orkney faces with regards to achieving its aspirations for energy generation.
The inability of the UK Government, the Utility and the Regulator to accommodate a fair and appropriate grid connection to Orkney has reached a level of criticality that now demands alternative actions to be taken. With curtailed energy production already a major feature of our energy system, a series of storage and energy balancing mechanisms seem likely to be an essential part of Orkney’s energy future. Any such solutions would also have much wider application within the UK and further afield as the global energy supply moves to low carbon renewable options.
To explore the specific options for Orkney going forward, a series of initiatives and demonstration projects have now been put in motion.
Gareth Davies and Sandy Kerr outlined the latest strategic thinking for establishing an energy storage lab within the Orkney Living Laboratory. Mark Hull provided a comprehensive update on a number of the energy storage and balancing related projects that are taking place or about to start in Orkney.
It was clear from these presentations that Orkney has unique attributes to offer in the field of energy storage and wider energy systems management and that we have the commitment to utilise these attributes to their full potential and that we have a proven track record on delivering on such aspirations.
The next task is to mobilise Scottish Government, HIE, Local Authority and wider UK/EU/International support for establishing Orkney as a major hub for energy storage and systems management research and technology application. OREF and its members are fully committed to ensuring that this happens.
The next OREF event is a Christmas Quiz which will take place at The Orkney Sailing Club from 7.30pm on Tuesday 13th December. Full details will be issued in advance.