Edinburgh, Scotland — Wave energy developer Aquamarine Power was awarded over £3 million from the Scottish Government this week to support the development of its next-generation Oyster wave energy device.
Aquamarine Power received the grant from the Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support (WATERS) fund, which is run and administered by Scottish Enterprise on behalf of a collaborative venture involving Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The funding will support the further development of the 2.4-megawatt (MW) Oyster demonstration project in Scotland. Phased installation of the project will begin at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in Summer 2011. The WATERS project follows on directly from Aquamarine Power’s MRPF project which was announced earlier this year.
“The marine energy industry has the potential to provide huge economic benefit to Scotland and Scottish businesses, with the creation of skilled jobs, a global export market and a secure and clean domestic energy supply. At this early stage of the industry, funding initiatives like the WATERS scheme are vital to help deliver this for Scotland,” said Martin McAdam, CEO of Aquamarine Power.
The £15 million WATERS scheme has been designed to support the construction and installation of pre-commercial full-scale wave and tidal stream device prototypes in Scottish waters.
The Oyster demonstration project will consist of three 800-kilowatt (kW) flaps, each measuring 26 metres by 16 meters. Each flap will deliver 250 percent more power than the original Oyster prototype, which was successfully deployed at EMEC in 2009.
The three devices will be linked to a single onshore 2.4 MW hydro-electric turbine. The new devices incorporate a number of design improvements, which means they will produce more energy, be simpler to install and easier to maintain. A small farm of 20 Oyster devices would provide enough energy for more than 12,000 homes.