The fast emerging marine renewables industry is already creating a green jobs boom in the far north of Scotland. Progress is particularly encouraging for public-sector partners working to develop the industry according to Highlands and Islands Enterprise joint head of energy Elaine Hanton.
With new predictions from Orkney based consultancy, Aquatera, that commercial scale wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters could create up to 1500 jobs in the area, the successful deployment of the latest wave machine provides clear evidence of the potential economic benefits to remote communities.
Edinburgh-based Aquamarine Power worked with 27 different businesses in Orkney and Caithness as it went through the complex process of installing its prototype Oyster wave energy device on the seabed in Atlantic waters near Stromness.
“As well as having seven of our own staff directly employed in Orkney, more than 70 people from both sides of the Pentland Firth provided us with invaluable support,” said Aquamarine chief executive officer Martin McAdam.
“Many were from specialist companies in both Caithness and Orkney who offered the expertise we needed to get Oyster into the water for its first sea trials