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Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub shortlisted in the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards

The Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) project has been shortlisted for the Partnership Scotland Award at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards with partners The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), Pure Energy Centre, Community Energy Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES).

The VIBES Partnership Scotland Award recognises organisations working together strategically to improve their contribution to sustainable development. The OHLEH project focuses on the creation of a local circular energy economy and was funded by the Scottish Government Local Energy Challenge Fund.

Created to encourage collaborative solutions to waste management and energy challenges, the OHLEH project has developed into a unique initiative, which is the first of its kind in Scotland. The project involves the transfer of fish waste from SSC’s processing plant on the Isle of Lewis, which is integrated with other local household and garden waste in an anaerobic digester, based at the CnES Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Creed, and broken down to produce biogas. The biogas fuels a Combined Heat and Power plant with some of the electricity generated used to drive an electrolyser which in turn produces hydrogen and oxygen for use at SSC’s hatchery in Lewis, as well as providing fuel for CnES’s hydrogen powered bin lorry.

Now in its 20th year, the VIBES recognise Scottish businesses which showcase best practice, taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment. The awards encourage the efficient use of resources, strive to improve environmental performance and support sustainable development including social benefits through involvement with the local community.

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “To be shortlisted for the Partnership Scotland Award not only recognises the commitment and expertise of the OHLEH project partners, but also is a great example of local collaboration which could act as a blueprint for national best practice, not just in the salmon farming industry but across many other sectors.”

David Macleod, Head of Municipal Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “As an island local authority, it is important that we work with local partners to strengthen our local economy and our community. The OHLEH project maximises the potential of being able to process organic wastes locally, generating green hydrogen and green oxygen to support local industry.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 14 November at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Glasgow.