UK government grants worth more than £13 million (US$25.35 million) have been awarded to nine marine energy projects in Scottish waters, mostly in Orkney.
Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicol Stephen revealed details of the projects that will share the money, with the initial fund of £8 million (US$15.6 million) increased by £5.15 million (US$10.04 million) to meet demand.
The Scottish Executive funding will be supplemented by an additional £500,000 (US$0.975 million) to develop a testing berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
Successful bidders for a share of the Marine Energy Fund are:
- CRE Energy Ltd £4.141 million (US$8.07 million) to use four of Ocean Power Delivery’s Pelamis devices arranged as a single wave energy array. Each device will be rated at 750kW giving a total array output of 3MW. This will be the world’s biggest commercial wave project.
- AWS Ocean Energy £2.128 million (US$4.15 million) for the design, construction, installation, testing and demonstration of a 500kW Archimedes Wave Swing wave energy converter at the European Wave Energy Centre.
- ScotRenewables £1.796 million (US$3.5 million) for the SRTT is a floating tidal stream energy converter. The concept involves dual horizontal-axis rotors driving generators within sub-surface nacelles.
- Open Hydro £1.214 million (US$2.37 million) for a 250kW Open-Centre Turbine to be installed on the sea bed at EMEC’s tidal site.
- Ocean Power Technology £0.598 million (US$1.17 million) for the PowerBuoy which acts as a point absorber which moves up and down a central ‘spar’ as the wave passes by.
- Aquamarine £0.275 million (US$0.54 million) for its Oyster devices, designed to exploit the wave resource in near-shore locations.
- CleanTechCom £0.273 million (US$0.53 million) for two 1m diameter siphon pipes which pass through the No 1 Churchill Barrier on land at the Northern tip of Lamb Holm island on Orkney.
- Wavegen £0.149 million (US$0.29 million) for the development and testing of an advanced Wells turbine system which is expected to be utilised on a wave energy project on the Western Isles, at Siadar, which is currently being developed with npower renewables. This project will use Wavegen’s existing Oscillating Water Column (OWC) at the Limpet site, near Portnahaven on the island of Islay.
- Tidal Generation £0.077 million (US$0.15 million) for extraction of a core sample of seabed from the berth area Tidal Generation’s machine will occupy.
The bulk of the successful projects will take place in and around the EMEC in Orkney, with the installation of small arrays/single devices at the wave and tidal test facilities there. Devices are expected in the water this year, with full commissioning during 2008.
An additional £2.5 million (US$4.88 million) has been ring-fenced for upgrading the site at the EMEC to help accommodate these devices.
Scottish ministers have also confirmed that the Executive has already reached its 2010 target to have 18% of Scotland’s electricity generated from renewable sources.