Aquamarine secures new funding
Oyster 1 is currently undergoing sea trials at EMEC, the Orkney –based European Marine Energy Centre, and is connected to the National Grid.
Edinburgh-based Aquamarine recently unveiled the design of Oyster 2, which will be built in Scotland later this year.
The next-generation 800kW (kilowatt) device will deliver 250 per cent more power than the current prototype, with only a 50 per cent increase in its seabed footprint. Aquamarine chief executive officer Martin McAdam said the company had made substantial progress over the last 12 months.
“Our current Oyster device has performed well during sea trials, surviving the harshest winter seas off the coast of Orkney,” he said. “The data we have gathered from it has enabled us to design a much more powerful Oyster 2.
“The additional fundraising enables us to progress to the next phase – the manufacture and installation of Oyster 2 - and we will announce the award of these contracts shortly.
“As an emerging industry, marine energy has a substantial funding requirement and the financial support of investors and the UK and Scottish Governments is paramount to its success.”
The original machine has a single “flap”, which moves with passing waves, absorbing energy that pumps water under high pressure to an onshore hydro-electric station.
Aquamarine will begin deployment of Oyster 2 in the summer of 2011. It will have three flaps linked to the 2.4 MW (megawatt) hydro-electric turbine installed at EMEC’s shore side facility at Billia Croo near Stromness.
Earlier this year Aquamarine also secured an award from the Carbon Trust’s Marine Renewables Proving Fund (MRPF) to support the manufacture of Oyster 2.
In partnership with SSE Renewables, the company was successful in the Crown Estate’s first leasing round for marine energy projects in Orkney waters and the Pentland Firth.
They have exclusive rights to develop a 200MW wave farm off Brough Head, which could provide enough energy to power around 190,000 homes.