Two north companies are at the heart of a new project to bring green energy to remote communities in Chile.
Highland firm Proterra Energy, founded four years ago by brothers Neil and Terry Stebbings, has teamed up with Orkney-based environmental consultancy Aquatera to support the development of renewable-energy systems in the South American nation.
Terry Stebbings said: “The joint initiative is looking at promoting sustainable clean energy solutions for remote areas, with Proterra Energy providing support on hydro elements.
“In addition to the larger project, we are also supporting live inquiries for individual schemes where we can offer bespoke project solutions.”
The Stebbings quit jobs in the oil and gas industry to set up Drumnadrochit-based Proterra in 2012, having identified a niche in the renewables market.
Their company specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of micro hydro schemes, typically delivering up to 100 kilowatts.
It currently has six employees, with Highland-based contractors giving support in the design and construction phases.
The firm operates throughout Scotland, typically in remote, off-grid and logistically challenging areas – so it is ideally-placed to take its expertise to parts of the world where mains electricity is not regularly available.
If a site is suitable, its hydro systems can reduce dependency on generators – and more importantly fuel – or be used with them to provide an integrated power solution.
A recent visit to Chile as part of the tie-up with Aquatera was arranged with the help of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which supports small and medium-sized enterprises to make the most of business opportunities in the EU and beyond.”
Terry Stebbings said: “Our local Enterprise Europe team in Inverness helped us prepare for the trip and provided us with some excellent local contacts, which we would have struggled to get without them.
“They arranged for us to meet their Enterprise Europe colleagues in Santiago, who provided us with additional support on the ground.”
EEN business adviser Michelle Wemyss said: said “Our network of colleagues spans over 50 countries across Europe and beyond.
“We have been assisting Terry with his international aspirations by working together to research new markets and creating a business profile to target them.
“We are now focusing on Chile, Germany, France and Switzerland based on our research.”