The initial test programme will be based around a single 750 kW Pelamis P2 device from Pelamis Wave Power Ltd currently being built in Edinburgh, Scotland, and which will be installed and tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. EMEC is the only grid-connected marine test facility in Europe.
The Pelamis device is expected to become fully operational in 2010. The first year of testing will be an extended commissioning period, with the next two years designed to improve the device’s working capabilities.
Amaan Lafayette, Marine Development Manager at E.ON, says: “We recognise that much work has to follow before we can be certain that marine energy will fulfil its potential but the success of this device will give us the confidence to move to the next phase of commercialisation which is larger arrays around the UK coastline.
“It’s only by actually getting devices in the water that we can test the potential for wave power in the UK, which is why this is such an important step.”
The Pelamis P2 device will be 180 m long, around 50 m longer than the existing Pelamis P1, and is designed to be “considerably more efficient than the first generation device.”