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Photo: Aquamarine Power’s Oyster 800 wave power device
operating at Billia Croo, Orkney


Scotland green-lights world's largest wave power farm

Aquamarine Power has received full consent from the Scottish Government for a 40 MW wave power farm off the north-west coast of Lewis, Scotland - making it the world's largest fully-permitted ocean energy site.

See video animation of how the Oyster 800 wave power farm works 

The announcement was made by the Scottish Government's Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing at the All Energy conference in Aberdeen.

The green-light from the government and its regulator Marine Scotland, along with onshore planning which was approved last September, means the Edinburgh firm, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lewis Wave Power Limited, will be able to begin installing their near-shore Oyster wave energy machines at the site in the next few years - once the necessary grid infrastructure has been put in place.

This will ultimately see the deployment of between 40 and 50 Oyster devices along the coast at Lag na Greine, near to Fivepenny Borve, in one of the best wave energy locations in Europe. Once complete, the farm will have the capacity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

Last year the local council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), approved planning for the onshore hydroelectric power plant which will be connected to the Oyster wave energy farm.

Aquamarine Power are currently testing their second full scale wave machine, known as the Oyster 800, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and are now producing electrical power to the grid.

"This is a significant milestone for our company," says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam. "The goal of our industry is to become commercial, and to do this we need two things - reliable technologies and a route to market. Our engineers are currently working hard on getting the technology right and we now have a site where we can install our first small farm, with a larger-scale commercial build out in the years ahead.

Making the announcement, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP said, "I am delighted to announce that Scottish Ministers have granted a License to Aquamarine Power to develop the largest commercial wave array in the world. Aquamarine Power is an exciting, dynamic Scottish company that is increasingly expanding its renewable business.

"The development of up to 50 Oyster wave devices off the North West coast of Lewis, when operational, will have the power to produce 40 MW of renewable electricity.

"This is another significant milestone for Scotland's wave sector. With 10 percent of Europe's wave power potential, and 25 percent of its offshore wind and tidal power potential, the opportunities for Scotland are enormous."

Source: Aquamarine Power
Published in PennEnergy
May 29, 2013


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