Organised by Scottish Renewables, the annual awards celebrate the achievements of a wide range of companies and individuals involved in the renewable energy sector.
Before the evening began, the Highlands and Islands was already making its mark, with finalists from the region shortlisted in nine categories.
The region’s first winner in the Best Innovation category was Orkney based Orbital Marine Power (formerly ScotRenewables) for testing of the world’s most powerful operating tidal turbine, the 2MW SR2000.
Operated at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test site from April 2017 to September 2018, including during the worst winter storms in recent years, the pioneering SR2000 supplied the equivalent annual electricity demand of 830 UK households and at times was supplying over 25% of the electricity demand of Orkney.
Joining them on what was undoubtedly a highly successful evening for the marine energy industry, was Nova Innovation, which won the Outstanding Project Award for their tidal array in Bluemull Sound, Shetland. This pioneering project is an outstanding collaborative project led by a Scottish innovator that uses the Scottish supply chain and creates Scottish jobs while demonstrating the commercial viability of tidal energy for the benefit of the global industry.
Other winners from the Highlands and Islands were the Fair Isle Electricity Company which took home the Judges’ Award for the impact that has been created in the tiny island community through the deployment of a low carbon energy system. Also, Orkney-based Leask Marine won the Outstanding Service Award.
Leask Marine has performed supply chain activities for an array of international marine renewable wave and tidal developers and are considered as one of the world’s most experienced and leading marine contractors in the marine energy sector.
Audrey MacIver, director of energy and low carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) presented the Outstanding Contribution award to ScottishPower Chief Executive, Keith Anderson. She said: “These awards are a real highlight in the energy calendar, and to see such a fantastic showing from the Highlands and Islands makes me incredibly proud of all that our businesses and communities are achieving in this sector.
“The dedication and passion that is demonstrated by all who work in renewable energy must be congratulated, and we at HIE will remain strong advocates for the industry as it continues to thrive; supporting our supply chain to innovate and internationalise and our communities to transition to a strong and sustainable low carbon economy.”
Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “Scotland is already a world leader in renewable energy, last month WWF reported that in October this year wind turbines generated the equivalent of 98% of Scotland’s electricity demand or enough to power nearly 5 million homes.
“It is essential that we continue this progress and I would like to congratulate the Scottish Green Energy Award winners for the ingenuity and determination they have shown in developing new products and approaches.
“Innovation of the kind showcased tonight, such as in areas like marine energy or in community energy projects, is integral to our ambitions to decarbonise our energy system and supports our vision of a flourishing, competitive local and national energy sector, delivering secure, affordable, clean energy for Scotland’s households, communities and businesses.”
Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “As ever, competition for this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards was fierce, with so many ground-breaking projects coming to life over the past twelve months.
“Nine of our categories had finalists from the Highlands and Islands, which shows how the renewable energy industry is thriving across the country, and how the enormous environmental and economic benefits it brings are being felt by communities from the Borders to the islands.”