Wave giant arrives for tandem trials
A newly-built Pelamis wave energy device has arrived in Orkney for the first tandem test programme at EMEC, the European Marine Energy Centre.
The machine was constructed for ScottishPower Renewables at Pelamis Wave Power's base at Leith in Edinburgh and was towed to Lyness, on the island of Hoy, in a 300-mile journey from the Firth of Forth.
It will be installed at EMEC alongside another second-generation P2 machine commissioned for E.ON, which is already stationed in Orkney.
In the first cross-industry collaboration of its kind, they will operate in tandem as a two-machine wave farm.
Information gathered from the trials will be used to support the development of larger commercial-scale projects currently under development by both ScottishPower Renewables and E.ON off the coast of Orkney.
Alan Mortimer, head of policy at ScottishPower Renewables, said: "We are delighted to see the Pelamis device going in to the water following a lot of hard work.
"The new P2 device has built considerably on the original concept. The initial testing has been encouraging, and we look forward to seeing the device working in collaboration with E.ON's machine in Orkney.
"The waters around Scotland have excellent potential to generate a substantial amount of electricity, both from wave and from tidal power. We are now at a crucial stage in realising this potential."
The company received a grant from the Scottish Government’s Wave and Tidal Energy Support Scheme (WATES) to partly fund the construction of the device.
"That support has been very important and by combining the resources and expertise of two major renewable energy companies, we believe this will help to drive the marine renewables industry forward," added Mr Mortimer.
The P2 design builds on the extensive experience that Pelamis Wave Power has accumulated over more than ten years through the design, manufacture and operation of four full-scale P1 machines.
The E.ON Pelamis was the first P2 machine to be constructed – this second machine built for ScottishPower Renewables is similar in design and appearance.
Both measure 180m long and are 4m in diameter. Each is rated at 750 kilowatts (kW) and will provide enough power over the course of a year to meet the average electricity demand of 500 homes.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "This latest development further reinforces the growing momentum in marine renewables across Scotland and the breadth of activity taking place at the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre."
ScottishPower Renewables is currently developing a wave energy site off Marwick Head in Orkney that could host up to sixty-six Pelamis P2 wave power generators.