Marine power schemes given cash boost | 19-JAN-11

By Hayley Millar BBC Scotland business correspondent Three Scottish companies have won a multi-million pound funding boost to help prove the commercial viability of their marine power devices. The money from the Department of Energy and Climate change, DECC, is awarded by The Carbon Trust. Edinburgh based Aquamarine Power has been awarded £5.1m and has raised the same again from its shareholders. The funding will be used to develop the second generation of its Oyster wave device which is the world's largest working hydro-electric wave energy converter. It is currently producing electricity at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Martin McAdam, chief executive officer of Aquamarine Power, said: "The funding is a major boost and will allow us to develop Oyster 2, a 2.5 MegaWatt machine which will be eight times more powerful than the one we are currently testing." Joint venture Pelamis Wave Power has also been awarded £4.8m to develop a more advanced wave machine, Pelamis P2. The machine will also be tested at EMEC. The second generation machine will be installed off Orkney this year and will produce enough electricity to power 500 homes. Max Carcas, business development director of Pelamis Wave Power, said: "The scheme will lead to faster progress in the marine energy sector and lower risk investment propositions for the private sector, driving the sector towards large scale deployment sooner." Pelamis Wave Power is developing the Pelamis P2 Another winner is Hammerfest Strom UK, a joint venture between its Norwegian parent company and ScottishPower Renewables. The company's award of £3.9m will help fund the installation of its tidal device known as the HS1000 at EMEC in Orkney. In two years' time Hammerfest is hoping to install 10 tidal turbines in the Sound of Islay, which should produce enough electricity to power the whole of the Island. Hammerfest is also understood to have plans to create a manufacturing facility in Scotland which would build the turbines for the Islay project. Keith Anderson, director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "Scotland is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy potential, and tidal offers perhaps the greatest source of power. "The deployment of the HS1000 device is a major milestone in Scotland's ambitions to tap-in to this new source of energy." Marine energy is currently some way behind other forms of renewable energy in its development. The Carbon Trust believes that the cost of developing the technology can be considerably reduced over the next 10 years, which could see up to 1,000 wave and tidal devices in the water by 2020.