Low Carbon Future for Orkney

Orkney’s reputation for innovation in the energy sector seems set to continue with the news that the islands have been awarded £670,000 to develop a unique low carbon project.

The grant, from the European Regional Development Fund, will support the launch of the ‘Stromness Multi Modal Low Carbon Transport and Active Travel Hub’. That might be a fairly complicated name, but the aims of the project are simple.

The funding will be used to install shore power equipment to supply ‘green’ electrical power from locally produced renewable energy for the NorthLink Ferries vessel MV Hamnavoe when it is in port in the town.

The MV Hamnavoe leaving Hoy Sound and heading into the Pentland Firth
The MV Hamnavoe leaving Hoy Sound and heading into the Pentland Firth

A new electric bus charger will also be installed, along with electrical vehicle charging points for ferry users. To round things off, new electric bicycles, shelters and charging points will also be put in place for use by members of the public and visitors to the town.

Extra funding for the project will come from Orkney Islands Council and transport partnership HITRANS. It’s further exciting news for Stromness, which has seen millions of pounds worth of investment in recent years, with work to build a new Renewable Energy Research and Innovation Campus in the town also well underway.

Construction work on Orkney's new Research and Innovation Centre has begun
Construction work on Orkney's new Research and Innovation Centre has begun

The local project is the most northerly of the nine schemes to receive funding. The grant will come from the European Regional Development Fund's Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund, which is aimed at supporting active travel and low carbon hubs and paths.

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