The ASLEE first quarter project meeting took place last week in glorious sunshine.
The one day event attended by representatives from the project partners was hosted by Xanthella at the European Marine Science Park in Dunstaffnage, near Oban.
It was a fantastic day of technical discussions and updates from the attendees. The meeting was also an opportunity to review and plan the next stage of the ASLEE project development.
The circular economy is a generic term for an economic framework that is a closed system, based on complex natural cycles and systems, ultimately depleting no natural resources and producing no waste or pollution – in contrast to a linear economy, which is a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production.
In a circular economy, energy sources and raw materials are renewable, and ‘wastes’ are recycled sustainably and indefinitely back into the system. Transition to a circular economy is essential to secure a viable and sustainable future on a planet of finite resources.
The ASLEE Project has the potential to contribute significantly towards the circular economy. Producing algae in photobioreactors using renewable energy requires four main inputs: electricity, water, nutrients and carbon dioxide. All of these can be easily sourced within a sustainable circular economic model.
The algal products have many potential uses (including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and biofuels) but initially, will replace imported feedstocks from abroad for the local aquaculture industry – increasing the sustainability of locally farmed seafoods.
ASLEE Coordinator and Xanthella CEO Douglas McKenzie will be travelling this week to give a keynote address to over 400 delegates at the 11th International Marine Biotechnology Conference in Baltimore, USA. He will be detailing the ASLEE project in a session devoted to the commercialisation of biotechnology, and describing how micro-algae in conjunction with renewable electricity generation might be used to boost Scotland’s rural economy.
Ardnamurchan was chosen as the ideal site for the planned ASLEE demonstrator array due to be built in 2017. The area is located on the most westerly peninsula of the Scottish mainland and is remote, rural, and sparsely populated. The estate has a track record of innovation taking advantage of technology: existing renewable energy sources include wind, hydro, wave and biomass. However, further renewable energy developments are severely limited by grid constraints, despite huge potential from the area’s abundant wind, water and forestry. The ASLEE project aims to help unlock some of that potential by demonstrating the viability of a manufacturing process which takes advantage of an intermittent power supply – using it as a transactive load for demand side management and grid balancing – thereby enabling more green energy to be generated and used in the local area.
Recently the wild scenery of the area has reached the public eye in the popular Channel 4 ‘Eden’ reality TV show, which is filmed in an inaccessible corner of the peninsula, featuring a community of 23 volunteers – completely cut off from the outside world.
New £2M Algal Solutions for Local Energy Economy (ASLEE) Project!
Xanthella Ltd are very pleased to announce the start of a new pioneering project to bring new industry to rural areas of Scotland using renewable energy to produce high value algal products – whilst providing a grid balancing service which can overcome the problems of intermittent renewable power generation.
The £2M, two-year project is led by Xanthella and will be in partnership with ALIenergy, VCharge, University of the West of Scotland, FAI Aquaculture, SgurrEnergy, Woodland Renewables and the University of Stirling’s Marine Environment Research Laboratory at Machrihanish.
The project is one of nine chosen this year for funding by the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund, administered by Local Energy Scotland.
Representatives from the partner organisations and Local Energy Scotland gathered for a kick off meeting at Xanthella’s offices at Malin House, Dunstaffnage, near Oban, on Friday 3rd June