Jim Mather, the Scottish Government Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism confirmed that Inverness-based AWS Ocean Energy was one of the companies to receive the funding support through the WATERS programme (Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support).
Mather commented, "today's announcement of £1.39 million in WATERS funding will support [AWS'] innovative efforts to harness the power of our waters and - as part of a wider £13 million package of funding to support the development of emerging technologies - is another important step towards a low carbon Scotland that maximises its resources for a sustainable future."
The other WATERS awards went to:
- RWE npower renewables - to support construction of one of the world's largest wave stations, the ten turbine, 4 Megawatt Siadar project off the Western Isles - 6 million pounds;
- Aquamarine Power - to support demonstration of Aquamarine's Oyster 3 project at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney - 3.15 million pounds;
- OpenHydro - to support a power conversion / control system to deliver a cost effective method of connecting marine energy devices in tidal arrays - 1.85 million pounds;
- Ocean Flow Energy - to build and deploy the 'Evopod', a 35 kilowatt floating grid connected tidal energy turbine at Sanda Sound in South Kintyre - 560,000 pounds.
Welcoming the Scottish Government announcement on WATERS programme funding, Simon Grey, chief executive of AWS Ocean Energy said, “This funding represents a vitally important boost for the development of our AWS-III wave energy device. The current trials on Loch Ness are delivering promising results and we are all very excited by the potential".
AWS Ocean Energy will use its award to further develop its AWS-III device (pictured), a ring-shaped multi-cell surface-floating wave power system, which the company says is the result of almost two years of intensive research and development work.
A single utility-scale AWS-III, measuring around 60 metres in diameter, will reportedly be capable of generating up to 2.5 Megawatts (MW) of continuous power.
Scale testing of the AWS-III on Loch Ness is currently being carried out to provide valuable design data and confirm the AWS-III’s revenue generation potential. The 1/9th scale test device will be temporarily withdrawn from Loch Ness later this month for engineering work and will be re-deployed in September for additional testing over a 6 week period. After a detailed assessment of the trial results, the company will then build and deploy a full-scale version of one of the wave absorption cells to prove the durability of this critical sub-system.
The company is seeking industrial and utility partners to enable the launching of a 12-cell, 2.5MW pre-commercial demonstrator in 2012 and subsequent commercialisation of the technology. Alongside the development of the AWS-III, the company is developing associated, patented technologies such as remote mooring systems and believes there is significant potential for manufacturing key components in Scotland.