Belgian firm to trial wave technology at EMEC
Flemish wave energy developer Laminaria is to test its innovative wave energy converter at the European Marine Energy Centre. The company has signed an agreement for the testing to take place at EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo, off the west coast of Orkney.
The official signing took place in Edinburgh, coinciding with a visit by the Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois.
Laminaria’s technology – a surge operated attenuator - has a bespoke storm protection system build in to enhance the survivability of the device, allowing it to remain operational during storm events.
Scale sea trials already underway in Belgium will influence the design for the full-scale device that will undergo performance testing at EMEC in 2017.
Laminaria will be the first Belgian company to test at EMEC’s test sites.
EMEC managing director, Neil Kermode, said: “We have been pleased to welcome several visitors from the region of Flanders to EMEC recently, demonstrating an active interest in marine energy development for their impressive maritime community.
“We’re delighted to now announce that Laminaria will be testing their Flemish wave energy converter at EMEC, and look forward to working with them, and seeing the technology further develop as they move from Ostend to Orkney.”
Laminaria’s chief executive officer Steven Nauwelaerts, said: “By combining the expertise built up in Scotland over the last decade and the novel approach of Laminaria, we can put wave energy on the road to success.
“The aim is to create a win-win situation by supplying the Scottish grid with clean reliable energy and creating employment in Flanders in the development and construction of the devices.”
Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, said: “In the last few years, Flemish company Laminaria has developed innovative technology for a wave energy converter, in collaboration with a string of partners in Flanders, such as the University of Ghent and the Port of Ostend, and with support of the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology.
“I am very pleased that this renewable energy technology can take a further step in its development in collaboration with Scottish partners with their excellent expertise in marine energy and state of the art facilities. I wish this nascent partnership the best of luck and success, as it is a fine example of a very promising cooperation, linking Flanders and Scotland.”