Its plans to collaborate with Scottish Power Renewables on the testing of two wave power devices in Orkney, Scotland, are vital to the efforts to bring the technology to market, says energy giant E.On.

The two energy companies have announced that they are to join forces to trial two Pelamis wave power machines at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The news follows an announcement from E.On in early November that the first of those “P2” machines generated power for the first time.

The second machine will be built for Scottish Power Renewables and will be installed alongside the first device in 2011.

The two companies will use the information gathered from the trials to look at larger, more commercial schemes.

“If we’re to bring marine energy to the market then it’s absolutely vital that we take a collaborative approach to ensure this technology is able to fulfil its potential and contribute significantly to the UK’s renewable future,” said Amaan Lafayette, Marine Energy Manager at E.On.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Scottish Power Renewables on this important project which will give us, and the industry, vital information about how best to use these technologies going forward.”

E.On installed the first P2 device – named the Vagr Atferd – at EMEC’s Billia Cross site earlier this year. It is the first P2 to be tested anywhere in the world.

“This is the first stage of a testing programme that is scheduled to last around three years. This is a crucial time for us and will help to determine what we need to do to ensure that marine energy makes the transition from a potential player in the renewables market to commercial deployment, not just in the UK but around the world,” said Lafayette.

The P2 machine is 180 m long and weighs around 1300 tonnes. The motion of the waves produces electricity by driving a set of hydraulic rams at the hinged joints, which link the cylindrical sections of the device.

E.On successfully applied for two 50 MW tidal sites off the coast of Orkney as part of the Crown Estate’s recent Round 1 Marine leasing programme.