A renewable energy company in Scotland has secured funding for its wave power technology.
INVERNESS, Scotland, UK, 2001-04-27 <SolarAccess.com> Wavegen has obtained £5 million for further development and commercialization of its marine power generation technology that captures the natural energy found in ocean waves. Last December, a demonstration Limpet plant was commissioned on the island of Islay and currently generates electricity under a 15-year power purchase contract with Scottish & Southern Energy and Scottish Power. This latest funding will allow the Inverness to accelerate the development of its products. “We are pleased that government and capital markets now understand the important role this vast untapped resource will play in the future energy supply mix,” says managing director Allan Thomson. Wavegen is the trading name of Applied Research & Technology, that was established in 1992 by Alan Wells, inventor of the Wells Turbine. Since that time, the company has developed a range of energy modules to exploit wave energy resources in the shoreline, near shore and offshore environments. The company has a 12 person research team based in the Scottish Highlands, and uses its in-house wavetank testing facility to develop products. The Limpet demonstration plant is the first commercial scale plant in operation in the world, and monitoring of that initial plant will allow Wavegen to move forward rapidly toward full commercialization of wave power technology. “Renewable energy is coming of age,” says Jonathan Johns of Ernst & Young, which is a partner. “We’ve succeeded in creating a funding package which will uniquely strengthen the company’s position in this rapidly growing market.” The World Energy Council estimates that 2 TW of energy could be harvested from the world’s oceans, the equivalent of twice the global production of electricity. In Britain, the recoverable wave energy resource exceeds total electricity demand. As a general rule, coastlines with an ocean fetch of more than 400 km are suitable. The LIMPET is a 0.5 MW shoreline wave power station that is designed to operate on exposed shores for local or island power generation and port development. The OSPREY is a 2 MW near- shore gravity anchored wave station designed for regional power generation and coastal protection. The WOSP is a 3.5 MW near shore combined wave and wind station. In addition, Wavegen is developing the POWERBUOY in conjunction with the oil industry, as an offshore multi-megawatt floating wave station that can provide power for pumps and other equipment for satellite wellheads and power deficient platforms to extend the productive field life.