Double Success for Aquatera at Energy North Awards 2011

October 10th 2011

Energy North held their inaugural awards ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness on 29th September. The event played host to the Energy industry across the Highlands and Islands. Companies and organisations celebrated innovation and successes across the industry.

Aquatera Ltd, a respected Orkney based Environmental Consultancy swept up 2 awards having been shortlisted for 3 of the 7 categories. Aquatera itself won the Best Export award in recognition of the global activities the company is now undertaking from its Stromness base. Aquatera ensures Orkney, Highlands and Islands and Scotland have a high profile internationally in the renewables industry and are recognised as leaders in their field. They actively promote Orkney, the Highland and Islands region and Scotland when they are overseas. This has created opportunities for a range of associated organisations in the region as well as for Aquatera. Although Aquatera is rooted in a small island community, it operates with a global perspective.

Commenting on the Export award won by Aquatera, Gareth Davies (MD) said, "This award reflects a true team effort by all of our staff, associates and partners that help us deliver projects around the world.  We are very proud that well over 50% of our business is with overseas companies."

By way or of an example of the international nature of the business Aquatera is engaged in Gareth explained that in the week that they won this award - he had been in Denmark meeting a selection of wave and tidal developers and in Sweden exploring the links between art and science and renewables; Ian Hutchison was in Chile kicking off a couple of projects; Sweyn Johnston was in Stromness hosting two delegations from Japan; the company received news of its first project in Australia; there was ongoing work with a wave developer from Finland and we contributed to the successful deployment of a tidal device from Norway.

Gareth added, "Dealing with seven countries in seven days is not unusual for Aquatera, it shows the global interest that there is in marine renewables and the growing appreciation that exists for the expertise and experience of the people in Orkney that have helped the industry make the progress it has."

The second was a more personal award to Aquatera's MD Gareth Davies. The Energy North Ambassador award recognised the contribution that Gareth has made to developing and promoting the wider marine renewables sector in Orkney and across Scotland. Aquatera has strong innovative leadership through Gareth Davies. It is a company focused on solutions with a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Gareth is one of the founding members, former Chair and current director of Orkney Renewable Energy Forum. He is a Director of the Scottish Renewables Forum and Co-Chairs the Marine sub group. Gareth constantly raises the profile of the Highlands and Islands as being pivotal to development in marine renewables. Aquatera has creative leadership through Gareth Davies who is a tireless ambassador for the sector well deserving of this award.

Gareth said "I am very surprised and delighted to receive the Energy North Ambassador award.

"Over the last 10 years or so a lot of effort has been put in by a lot of people to make marine renewable energy work in and for Orkney. It has been a privilege to work alongside some very inspirational people and to have reached the stage where Orkney literally leads the world in Marine Renewables.  My commitment and passion simply reflects the same commitment and passion that I see in others. To receive recognition for the work that has been put in over the years is a great boost and helps to make it all worthwhile.

"However, the real achievement will be when Orkney has a sustainable new industry, delivering clean and safe energy from the waves and tides, in harmony with the natural environment and other commercial activities, based upon a strong local supply chain delivering locally but also across Scotland and the rest of the world."

These awards come at a time of significant growth and development in Aquatera which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.  The company now has over 15 staff, has established a sister company Orcades Marine Management Consultants to develop the marine operations side of its activities and has recruited Gaynor Jones to develop the business systems and growth strategy for the company.

Given that job creation is one of the main policy objectives for the marine renewables sector it would seem that Aquatera's success locally and globally would indicate that the backing for the sector is reaping good dividends.