Today marked the offical unveiling of the Surf ’n’ Turf project to the public and invited guests at the Kirkwall Pier.
On hand was the the Scottish Government’s business, innovation & energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP who did the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
On Thursday September the 28th, many of the invited guests will be travelling to Eday to see where and how the hydrogen is being produced from tidal and wind energy.
Surf ‘n’ Turf is led by the Kirkwall based team of Scotland-wide energy charity, Community Energy Scotland. They work closely with EMEC, Orkney Islands Council, Eday Renewable Energy, and ITM Power.
Orkney is a group of islands to the north of Scotland with fantastic natural energy resources. Wind, tidal and wave energy are abundant year-round.
More electricity is generated locally from renewable sources than the population use, and zero-carbon power is routinely exported to the UK National Grid. There are even times when so much renewable energy is available that the power cables that allow export reach full capacity – production of electricity has to be capped. Some turbines must switch off and clean energy goes unharnessed during what is called curtailment.
The island of Eday is home to about 150 people. They collectively own a 900kW wind turbine through Eday Renewable Energy. Community-owned turbines do much to create jobs and fund local services in remote areas but Eday's turbine is vulnerable to curtailment because of its location and the way it connects to the grid. The island also hosts the tidal site of the European Marine Energy Centre.
On Eday, Surf 'n' Turf brings together the two power sources – tidal and wind – with equipment to convert and store energy as hydrogen. In Kirkwall (Orkney's capital) Surf 'n' Turf is developing systems to make use of hydrogen and a training facility to establish local skills. It will encourage future hydrogen opportunities – on land and at sea – and secure local employment. The project will also manage shipments of hydrogen from Eday to Kirkwall.
Orkney is looking to the future, establishing a hydrogen supply chain that can replace fossil fuels with clean, locally-sourced energy.