Pelamis backing from energy giants
Two second generation Pelamis wave energy converters will undergo test programmes in Orkney as the technology moves towards full commercialisation in local waters.
The first, commissioned by energy giant E.ON, was recently completed at Pelamis Wave Power’s Leith facility and is expected to be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) later this year.
Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) has also announced that a second P2 machine is to be built for ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), part of Iberdrola Renovables, the largest wind energy company in the world.
Both SPR and E.ON were successful in the Crown’s Estate’s first leasing round for commercial wave and tidal projects.
The two utilities are each planning 50 megawatt (MW) wave farms off the west coast of Orkney using Pelamis P2 technology.
PWP itself will develop another 50 MW marine site off the north coast of mainland Scotland.
The company’s chief executive officer, Neels Kriek, said the combined capacity – 150 MW when fully developed – was the equivalent of 200 P2 machines.
The machines to be tested at EMEC would provide valuable experience and data to expedite the early development and commercialisation of the three projects, he said.
“The order from SPR will allow us to operate and maintain a mini array of P2 machines at EMEC,” added Mr Kreik.
“This will create the impetus for the commercialisation of the Crown Estate sea-bed leases awarded to SPR, E.ON and PWP.
“These and other projects under development in Scotland will result in orders in excess of £500 million when fully developed.
“This is a unique opportunity for PWP and our Scottish and UK supply chain partners to stimulate significant local economic benefits and, importantly, to create many more high-tech jobs in Scotland.”
The second generation P2 machine is based on over 10 years of research and development work and the experience gained in building and operating prototype P1 devices.
The first P1 was also tested at EMEC – and generated the first electricity for the UK National Grid from an offshore wave energy device.