Scotland Boosts Ocean Power with $25 M Grant

More than GBP 13 million [U.S. $25 million] worth of funds were awarded last week by the Scottish Executive — the devolved government of Scotland — for marine energy projects in Scottish waters, mostly in Orkney where one of the largest commercial wave power farms in the world is being developed by ScottishPower.

Nine projects will share the funding, with the initial GBP 7.6 million [U.S. $15 million] committed by the government for companies to develop marine energy project last October increased by GPB 5 million [U.S. $10 million] to meet demand. “Today marks a vital milestone in Scotland’s drive to be the world leader in the development of marine renewables,” said Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen. “Scotland has the potential to generate a quarter of Europe’s marine energy and kick-starting the sector is vital if we are to create a significant industry based in Scotland and meet our long-term renewables targets. We have already made huge strides forward in renewable energy. I am delighted to be able to confirm that our first target on renewable generation — 18 per cent by 2010 — has now been met, years ahead of schedule.” The bulk of the marine projects will take place in and around the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney — a group of islands situated a few miles off the north-east tip of mainland Scotland — with the installation of small arrays at the wave and tidal test facilities there. Devices are expected in the water this year, with full commissioning during 2008. An additional GBP 2.5 Million [U.S. $4.8 million] has been dedicated for upgrading the site at the EMEC to help accommodate these devices. “The development and commercial work going on in Scotland in renewable energy, particularly in marine energy, is world class,” said Lorna Jack, president of the Americas for Scottish Development International. “It is no surprise that Scotland has achieved its sustainability targets in renewable energy for 2010 three years ahead of schedule as we are leading the way in these kinds of developments. Our job now is to bring that technology out to business parties around the globe.” In related news, ScottishPower — working closely with the Scottish Executive — last week announced its plans to develop a GBP 10 million [U.S. $19.6 million] wave power project that will consist of four floating generators moored off the EMEC. Due to be operating by 2008, the 160-meter Pelamis machines will have a combined output of 3 megawatts (MW). A 750 kilowatt (kW) prototype of the Pelamis has been successfully towed to Orkney from Leith by it operators, Edinburgh-based Ocean Power Delivery, where it will begin onsite testing at EMEC in the coming weeks. “This is a massive step forward. It will be a test of the actual devices that will be used commercially and, if successful, should help propel Scotland into the forefront of marine energy throughout the world. Designed and constructed in Scotland, this kind of marine generator can make the best use of Scotland’s natural resources and help combat the threat of global warming in the future,” said Keith Anderson, Director of Renewables at ScottishPower. Successful bidders that will receive a portion of the GPB 13 million [U.S. $25 million] support package include: — AWS Ocean Energy: GBP 2.1 million [U.S. $4.15 million]; Commissioned to design, construct, install, and test a demonstration of the 500kW Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS) wave energy converter at the EMEC. — ScotRenewables: GBP 1.8 million [U.S. $3.5 million]; will position and operate the SRTT, a floating tidal stream energy converter. The concept involves dual horizontal-axis rotors driving generators within sub-surface nacelles. — Open Hydro: GPB 1.2 million [U.S. $2.36 million]; a 250kW open-center turbine will be installed on the sea bed at EMEC’s tidal site. OpenHydro was the first company to install a tidal turbine at the EMEC in 2006. — Ocean Power Technology: GPB 0.5 million [U.S. $1.16 million]; will install the PowerBuoy, a buoy acting as a point absorber which moves up and down a central ‘spar’ as the wave passes by. — Aquamarine Power Ltd: GBP 0.27 million [U.S. $536,000]; Aquamarine Power Ltd will set up what are called Oyster devices, designed to exploit wave resources in near-shore locations. — Wavegen: GBP 0.15 million [U.S. $290,000]; will develop and test an advanced Wells turbine system which is expected to be utilized on a wave energy project on the Western Isles, at Siadar, which is currently being developed with npower renewables. This project will use Wavegen’s existing Oscillating Water Column (OWC) at the Limpet site, near Portnahaven on the island of Islay. — Tidal Generation Ltd: GBP 0.77 million [U.S. $150,000]; Tidal Generation’s machine will occupy an extracted area from a core sample of seabed located in the EMEC testing berth area. — CRE Energy Ltd: GBP 4.1 million [U.S. $8.07 million]; shall arrange four of Ocean Power Delivery’s Pelamis devices as a single wave energy array. Each device will be rated at 750kW giving a total array of output of 3MW. — CleanTechCom: GBP 0.27 million [U.S. $532,000]; will install two 1 meter siphon pipes which pass through the Number 1Churchill Barrier on land at the Northern tip of Lamb Holm Island on Orkney.
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