A collaborative project bringing together three of Europe’s leading utilities and wave energy technologies provided by Edinburgh companies, Aquamarine Power and Pelamis, has been selected by the UK Government for a major European funding bid.

The Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource (POWER) Ltd project is the only wave energy bid being put forward by the UK Government to the European Investment Bank (EIB) for consideration in the first round of the EU’s New Entrant Reserve (NER300) scheme – a fund worth around EUR4.5 billion to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable projects across the European Union.

The POWER project aims to deliver the world’s first large-scale grid-connected demonstration of a wave energy farm with a total generation capacity of 28 MW.

If successful, the project will comprise ten near shore Aquamarine Power Oyster 3 devices and 24 offshore Pelamis machines within the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters leasing area, operating in multi-device array configurations. Both of these technologies are leaders in their field, having been successfully demonstrated at small scale. The project will have a single point of connection to the onshore grid.

The POWER project and bid, which was structured and coordinated by the Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC), is a collaboration by ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), E.ON Climate & Renewables (E.ON) and Brough Head Wave Farm Limited (BHWFL) – a joint venture between SSE Renewables (SSER) and Aquamarine Power, each of whom have demonstrated an unrivalled commitment to the marine energy sector.

Chris Bronsdon, Chief Executive of SEGEC said: “While still in the early stages of the bid process, it is very exciting to see that the POWER project has progressed through to this next stage. This project represents an innovative and collaborative approach from the outset that will realise not only knowledge sharing and learning but will be a crucial step in the delivery of technology learning for commercial-scale wave energy.”

Alan Mortimer, Head of Policy for ScottishPower Renewables said “Wave energy has the potential to play a major role in all our energy futures once the technology itself is ready for large-scale deployment. This project has a pivotal role to play in advancing wave technology such that its potential can be fully realised.”

Data and learning captured during the development and operation of the project will be used directly to accelerate the commercialisation of wave energy technology and the development of the industry in Europe.

By providing a final pre-commercial large-scale demonstration of Aquamarine Power nearshore Oyster 3 devices and offshore Pelamis machines within the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters development area, the POWER project would be a significant milestone in the development of the wave energy sector in Europe and worldwide.