By Isabella Kaminski
Edinburgh-based wave energy developer Aquamarine Power will install an Oyster 2 device this summer in Billia Croo near Stromness in Orkney, with a further two devices to be put in place in 2012. Together the three Oyster 2 wave energy devices will form a 2.4 MW array connected to a single onshore generating plant.
Falmouth-based marine drilling specialist Fugro Seacore will start drilling and installing steel piles for three Oyster devices this summer. It is the second time the two companies have worked together, after Fugro Seacore installed the piles for Aquamarine Power’s Oyster 1 wave energy device, also at Billia Croo, in 2009.
Martin McAdam, CEO of Aquamarine Power, says: “This deal shows that a thriving marine energy sector has the potential to offered skilled jobs and economic opportunity the length of the UK. The goal for the UK is to capitalise on our existing global lead in marine energy and deliver the first commercial arrays within the next five years. This will require support on a number of fronts but offers the promise of a world-leading, export-led green industrial sector.”
Bob Jenkins, Managing Director of Fugro Seacore, says: “Seacore worked with Aquamarine Power on the installation of its first Oyster device and we are very much looking forward to being involved in the second Oyster project. Oyster is a very exciting new technology and we are very proud to be involved in the early stages of its development.”
The news follows the announcement in December of £11m new investment in Aquamarine Power by multi-national power company ABB and other investors.
Chris Huhne, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, says: “Our island has a tremendous marine energy resource and we already have a lead in the technology. Now the challenge is to see it deployed commercially.
“As we face oil prices beyond US$100 a barrel and the clearest evidence yet of the physical dangers to the UK of manmade climate change, innovations such as the Oyster are the sure-fire insurance policy with a big economic dividend. Marine energy has the potential to sustain growth, quality employment and skills in the South West and the UK’s wider, fast-developing low carbon economy.”