Vattenfall announced that it had signed up the last remaining berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Scotland’s world leading ocean energy research and development centre on Orkney to test a Pelamis wave energy converter.
Vattenfall’s announcement stated that they hope to start testing a Pelamis machine in 2014, and confirmed previous statements that it would purchase a single machine from Pelamis Wave Power later this year if it was confident that it could make progress with its ocean energy development proposal, known as Aegir, off the Shetland Islands. That progress is, in part, predicated on the expectation of an electricity cable being laid between the islands and the mainland of Scotland.
Veijo Huusko, Vattenfall’s Head of Low Emitting Energy R&D, said: “If Vattenfall is to use ocean energy to support its long term shift to low carbon generation it needs to be confident that the technology it uses will be safe, reliable and productive. That is why we plan to purchase Pelamis Wave Power’s latest, second-generation machine and test it at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. However, the final decision on purchasing a machine for testing will, in part, be based on our expectation of there being an interconnector cable being laid between the Shetland Islands and the Scottish mainland.”
Richard Yemm, Commercial Director and founder of Pelamis Wave Power, added: “Vattenfall’s plans to purchase and test a Pelamis system alongside the existing P2 machines at EMEC is a further signal that we are ready to commence the transition to commercialisation. Constructing a final machine in the P2 series will allow us to further optimise the design to deliver an additional step reduction in cost of energy prior to commencing production of the world’s first commercial wave farms.”
Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government’s Energy Minister, said: “Scotland is blessed with some of the world’s greatest marine energy resources and we are the leading location for wave and tidal energy development. Vattenfall’s announcement today represents a further significant milestone towards the deployment of commercially viable arrays and is a strong endorsement of Pelamis Wave Power’s technology and EMEC’s unrivalled expertise. Vattenfall’s ambitious plans for future development will contribute towards Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets and create new and exciting opportunities for economic development.”
Vattenfall and Pelamis are involved in a joint venture, known as Aegir Wave Power, to develop a project off to Shetland Islands of up to 10MW capacity. The project is currently conducting environmental and resource assessments ahead of an expected planning application to Marine Scotland in 2014.
Per Hornung Pedersen, Chief Executive of Pelamis Wave Power, commented: “Vattenfall’s commitment to securing a berth to test a Pelamis machine demonstrates further evidence of utility endorsement of our technology. The fact we have three major utility customers on board is unique in the marine energy sector. Together they underline the importance of wave power as utility companies seek out clean, sustainable, energy solutions, and this latest milestone in our joint venture with Vattenfall is the next exciting step in that journey. We look forward to continuing to work closely with them on the Aegir project.”
Subsea World News Staff , March 15, 2012; Image: Pelamis Wave