A concordat between Argyll and Bute Council and ScottishPower Renewables, was signed today (Friday 30th November) at the Here We Are Centre in Cairndow.
The aim of the agreement is to get maximum benefit from renewable energy for communities throughout Argyll and Bute.
Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Jim Mather MSP, joined representatives from Argyll and Bute Council and ScottishPower Renewables to launch the concordat, marking continued collaboration in the responsible harvesting and development of renewable energy.
The Council’s spokesperson for Economy, Environment and Rural Affairs, Councillor Robert Macintyre, said: "This is a very special day for Argyll and Bute. We recognise the importance of harnessing and managing in a sustainable way, our renewable resources to offset many of the problems faced by our remote and fragile areas.
"The Council has been extremely forward thinking in the development of renewables, with the area already producing energy from a range of sources including wind, hydro and biomass.
"Argyll and Bute also has many marine energy sources, both wave and tidal, and it is essential that the entire area benefits from the significant economic, social and environmental rewards which harnessing this energy has to offer.
“Key to ensuring that these benefits are maximised locally is the work of the Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency (ALIenergy) which works with communities, householders, businesses and the public sector, to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.
"This new concordat will mark our continued commitment to comprehensive assessment of the potential for marine renewable energy in the area."
Keith Anderson of ScottishPower Renewables said: “Argyll and Bute Council has been extremely proactive with the responsible development of renewables in their area and we look forward to working with them in exploring marine renewable technology for the benefit of all parties.”
ScottishPower Renewables has been at the forefront of renewable development in Argyll and Bute, with pioneering projects at Beinn an Tuirc and Cruach Mhor.
The company has also employed an Energy Education Officer since 2004, specifically to work with communities on energy saving and renewables projects and initiatives.
Jim Mather MSP for Argyll and Bute said: “This is an innovative and much welcome partnership that will see Argyll and Bute play a leading role in developing marine renewable technology.
"I look forward to seeing real progress in that area and welcome the continued commitment of ScottishPower Renewables to supporting community initiatives and energy education. This is a great example that many other areas could learn from."
NOTES TO EDITORS
The first concordat between Argyll and Bute Council and Scottish Power Renewables was signed at Cruachan Power Station, Argyll, in June 2004.
ScottishPower Renewables with Iberdrola generates 500MW of energy in Argyll and Bute. 60MW of wind energy at their Cruach Mhor and Beinn an Tuirc windfarms and 440 MW hydro energy at the Cruachan Power Station, a highly popular tourist attraction in Argyll and Bute.
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