Orkney, UK [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Wave energy developer Aquamarine Power received a major boost this week when it secured £5.1 million of public funding to support the manufacture of its second generation wave energy device, Oyster 2, which will be manufactured later this year for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney (EMEC) in 2011.
Aquamarine Power received the grant from the Marine Renewables Proving Fund (MRPF), a £22 million initiative funded by the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and managed by the Carbon Trust.
The fund aims to accelerate the development of marine energy devices to where they can qualify for the UK Government’s existing Marine Renewables Deployment Fund support scheme and, ultimately, be deployed on a commercial scale. Aquamarine Power plans to deploy its first commercial Oyster devices in 2013.
The first generation 315-kilowatt (kW) Oyster device was officially connected to the National Grid at EMEC by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond in November 2009 and is currently undergoing sea trials to gather data to finalise the Oyster 2 design, which will be deployed as a 2.5-megawatt (MW) pod of three linked devices powering a single onshore hydro-electric generator. This follows a two year research programme including scale-model tank testing which was also part-funded by the Carbon Trust.
Aquamarine Power said that the Oyster 2 device features a new shape designed for increased performance and efficiency – capturing more of the ocean’s energy and producing more power per tonne of steel. The device has also been designed for mass manufacture and will consist of a modular construction for ease of installation and maintenance. Multiple devices will share one pipeline and one onshore generator which will offer efficiencies of scale.
“The future success of the marine energy industry is dependent upon continued public support to progress further technology development and, importantly, to de-risk and leverage private equity investment. We hope that this fund is the first step in putting in place a sustained programme of support to ensure that the marine energy industry meets its potential to deliver jobs for the UK economy and clean sustainable power to help meet climate change targets in the future,” said Martin McAdam, CEO of Aquamarine Power