A world-leading partnership consisting of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), Pure Energy Centre (PEC), Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) and Community Energy Scotland have won the Scottish Environment Business VIBES award for the best collaboration project.
The award was delivered to the Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) project for being an exemplar highly successful partnership collaboration between different organizations which could act as a blueprint for national and international best practice.
The VIBES Partnership Scotland Award recognizes organizations working together strategically to improve their contribution to sustainable development and the OHLEH project won again stiff competition from five other shortlisted finalists. The OHLEH initiative focuses on the creation of a local circular energy economy and was funded by the Scottish Government Local Energy Challenge Fund.
Created to encourage collaborative solutions to waste management and energy challenges, the OHLEH project has developed into a unique initiative, which is the first of its kind in the world. The project involves mixing fish waste transferred from SSC’s processing plant on the Isle of Lewis with local household and garden waste.
The mixture is used in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas. The biogas fuels a Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP). The excess electricity from the CHP supplies an electrolyzer installed by the PEC. The PEC’s system produces green hydrogen and green oxygen for use at SSC’s hatchery in Lewis, as well as providing fuel for CnES’s hydrogen-powered bin lorry.
David Macleod, Head of Municipal Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “This is an excellent achievement by all the partners, coming together to deliver a circular economy project using ground-breaking technology. This further demonstrates that it is possible for us to build a sustainable hydrogen economy in the Western Isles.”
Elizabeth Johnson MBE, Business Development Manager at PEC and Director of Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, said: “Winning the VIBES award shows that there is a strong commitment and an outstanding collaboration from all of the partners, which also includes Local Energy Scotland as a funder of the project.”
Donnie Macmillan, Plant Manager at Stornoway’s Creed Integrated Waste Management Facility, said, “This award is a huge achievement for such a strong and determined partnership that underlines our belief in seeing this progressive plant continuously improve with advances waste energy, hydrogen, oxygen, and transport clean technologies.”
Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Winning the VIBES Partnership Scotland Award not only recognizes the commitment and expertise of the OHLEH project partners but also is a great example of local collaboration which could act as a blueprint for national best practice, not just by the salmon farming industry but across many other sectors.”
Now in its 20th year, the VIBES Awards recognize Scottish businesses that showcase best practice, taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment. The awards encourage the efficient use of resources, strive to improve environmental performance and support sustainable development including social benefits through involvement with the local community.
Pure Energy Centre is an award-winning manufacturer of hydrogen and oxygen systems. PEC deploys high-pressure hydrogen filling stations, electrolyzers, storage, compressors, and fuel cells. As part of the OHLEH project, PEC has designed, developed, manufactured the world’s first innovative green hydrogen and green oxygen system.