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Alstom and SSE form JV for 200 MW wave power project

Alstom and SSE Renewables have formed a joint venture to develop the 200 MW Costa Head Wave Project north of mainland Orkney, Scotland.

By Kari Williamson

The wave power project will be powered by AWS-III wave energy converters, currently under development by AWS Ocean Energy Ltd, and will be located in water depths of 60-75 m.

Alstom and SSE Renewables say they will now carry out detailed site surveys and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) ahead of the initial 10 MW phase I.

A 1:9 scale model of the 2.5 MW AWS-III wave device has already been tested at Loch Ness. Full scale component testing will take place this year with a full-scale prototype due to be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2014.

The wave device consists of a multi-cell array of flexible membrane absorbers converting wave power to pneumatic power through compression of air within the inter-connected cells, which again drive turbine generators.

A typical AWS-III wave power device will consist of an array of 12 cells, each measuring around 16 m by 8 m, arranged around a structure with an overall beam of up to 60 m. The structural steel weight is around 1300 tonnes.

“We are delighted to announce our agreement with SSE Renewables, one of the leading developers of marine energy in the world, to develop Costa Head, which is the largest wave energy site being developed today in the world. When completed, it will make a valuable contribution to the UK's renewable energy targets,” says Jérôme Pécresse, President at Alstom Renewable Power and Senior Vice President at Alstom Hydro.

“This project places Alstom at the forefront of the fast-developing ocean energy sector along with our offshore wind and tidal energy businesses. It demonstrates the strength of our offer as a leading supplier of clean energy solutions and our involvement in all renewable energy sources in Scotland, the potential of which is considerable.”

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Wave and tidal energy