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Barclays lends £3.4m to finalise wave power array

Barclays Corporate has agreed a £3.4 million loan to wave energy company Aquamarine Power to finalise its wave power array in Orkney, marking a first in bank debt financing for a UK marine energy project.

By Kari Williamson

The five year loan will provide funds for Aquamarine Power to complete a 2.4 MW Oyster wave power array at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney.

The wave power array will consist of three next-generation Oyster wave power devices.

The first 800 kW Oyster 800 device was installed at Billia Croo near Stromness in Orkney last month and two further devices will be installed in 2012 and 2013.

“This deal is a major step forward for the marine energy sector,” says Aquamarine Power CEO Martin McAdam. “It shows Barclays has the confidence and flexibility to fund the right marine energy project – with a return based on future energy production.

“For us this opens the door to securing debt finance for our first pre-commercial 10 MW project which will commence in 2014. The key for the industry will be finding the means to secure debt for these early-stage projects without the need to rely on parent company support. Barclays is definitely showing the way.”

Jan Love, Director of Project Finance for Barclays Corporate Scotland, adds: “This is a significant moment for Aquamarine Power; it demonstrates our confidence in the business model and provides a blueprint of how visionary companies can achieve their commercial aims with the right support. Barclays has played a major role in backing high quality renewable developers over the last decade and we have the experience to work successfully with strong management teams such as Aquamarine Power’s. We look forward to supporting the company through the key milestones as additional Oyster devices become operational in 2012 and 2013.”

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Wave and tidal energy