Aquamarine Power says the refocusing will allow it to accelerate the timetable for the commercialisation of the wave energy converter.
Martin McAdam, Chief Executive of Aquamarine says: “The decision to stop any further work on Neptune is the right decision for us. We will deploy our engineering team on making Oyster commercial in the shortest possible timeframe.
Oyster captures the energy found in amplified surge forces in near-shore waves. The system consists of a simple oscillating wave surge converter/pump fitted with double acting water pistons, deployed near-shore in depths of 8-6 m. Each passing wave activates the pump which delivers high pressure water via a sub-sea pipeline to the shore. Onshore, the high-pressure water is converted to electrical power using conventional hydro-electric generators.
According to Aquamarine, the wave energy generator can generate electricity in almost calm sea conditions and to heavy storms.
“We are a multiple technology company. At this stage in our development it makes sense to focus on what will deliver the best commercial device...”
There are already contracts in place with Fugro Seacore to commence its installation at the European Marine Energy Centre in the summer and with Airtricity, the renewable energy division of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), to develop sites capable of hosting 1000 MW of marine energy by 2020.
The design and intellectual property created as part of the Neptune tidal energy project will continue to be part of the Company’s product pipeline but will not undergo further development. Aquamarine says it will continue to develop tidal sites on a technology ‘neutral’ basis with utility partners.